Today is International Suicide Prevention day and so it may seem strange to write about hope, but for me having hope in my own life and for others is at the core of my mental health.
Life throws us plenty of curve balls and we all struggle to cope from time to time with practical problems. Sometimes we don’t notice that we also struggle with how we feel about ourselves, others and the world, in effect with our mental health. In trying to keep going we can end up overwhelmed and we can lose hope in our ability to cope.
Many people have spoken about the importance of hope and how we need to keep hope alive. I have seen images of hope, e.g. the light at the end of a tunnel or phrases such as “When the world says give up, hope whispers try one more time”.
But what do we do when we don’t see a light, when we cannot find that small voice and try one more time. It seems that to nourish hope you already need to have some! So, what can we do when we are struggling to find any hope?
That can be where other people come in. When we are very tired we need to rest a while and one of the most important things someone else can do for us is to hold hope for us while we rest.
This means believing in someone. It does not mean that we can or should try to fix people (they are not broken anyway) but we can carry belief in others. For me hearing someone say I believe in you when I have no self-belief left has helped me through some difficult times.
Carrying hope for someone may not seem a big thing to do but it can make a massive difference.