Are you OK?
It’s OK to be…not OK.
It all sounds a bit slight, possibly even trite, doesn’t it?
Are you OK?
But, very many of us are not OK.
All of us have moments of feeling down, confused, anxious, worried and unhappy and those moments can be very troubling.
Thankfully they pass very quickly.
Those who feel the breath of sadness or find themselves touched by madness are not so fortunate.
Poor mental health can wreck you, destroy you, ruin you, break you.
Tears come fast and furious from nowhere and for no reason that you can think of.
Bad decisions, poor choices, risky behaviours are regular features of your day.
The thought, the firm belief, that everyone would be better off if you simply…disappeared.
I have that thought more frequently than I could ever admit.
Just to disappear.
Ideally, at those moments, I would like for someone to erase all trace of me.
Everyone, I tell myself, would be happier.
This isn’t about that stuff.
So easy to dismiss it that way.
This is about the hope that does exist even when we feel hopeless.
Life is hope.
It lies in the most unexpected places, comes from the most unlikely people, burns brightest in the darkest corners.
It is in the kindness of a stranger.
It is in the touch of a friend, a hug, a caress, a hand on a shoulder.
It is in the music we love.
It is in the pages of a book.
It is in medication.
It is in counselling and therapy.
It is in me.
It is in you.
The tricky part is finding it.
Sometimes it can seem impossible to even believe that it exists but it does.
It will arrive suddenly…grab it, hold onto it, let it lift you.
Hope isn’t a cure, it is the soothing balm of Gilead.
Hope lies in beauty.
Hope lies in friendship.
Hope lies within and without.
Hope promises something better.
Something better than…
The pain, the sleeplessness, the fatigue, the horror, the anxiety, the tears, the shame, the endless doubt, the pit of despair.
At its core hope is the knowledge, and acceptance, of the fact that these are rotten days but that they will end. It can seem too much to believe that, if the battle you have been waging has raged for weeks, months or years then you may not believe that…and I understand why but it doesn’t make it untrue.
Today, and every day, I put my faith in hope…that good days will become golden, that bad days will become less bad, that the darkness will be extinguished by hopes bright light and that I will be able to breathe again, free from the burden of the things that ail me.
I hope you achieve the same.
Hope is important.