Mental Health

On Hope

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lauren b - we have hope

“I believe that believing we survive is what makes us survive.” – Grey’s Anatomy

Yesterday I lost hope.

Well, I suppose I didn’t ‘lose’ it so much as I gave up on it. I felt defeated, my spirit was shattered, and rather than cling on to the knowledge that things would get better, I succumbed to my despair indefinitely.

I sat across from a friend of mine, and this person tried to convince me that things would get better, that I could change the reality I was in, that there was hope. I laughed. It was a laughter that was as bitter as it was scared.

See, in the past I’ve always clung on to hope, I believe that is what got me through recovery, that is what kept me moving forward day after day – I clung tightly to the fact that I knew I would get through it, that I would conquer, that one day I would be free. Hope got me through.

And my hope wasn’t in vain – I was right, I did recover.

But then yesterday when I found myself back in that place – weak, scared, angry – rather than look at my past and see the beauty that followed some of my darkest hours and believe that the same would happen again, I shut down. I gave up hope.

I will never trust again. I will never be able to love again. I will never learn to forgive. After this, I can never be free.

‘Never’ is a powerful word – we need to be cautious how we use it, and I wonder if we even need to use it at all.

See, when you say ‘never’ you are submitting to defeat: “I will never recover” “I will never love myself” “I will never be able to let it go” “I will never forgive myself” “I will never trust again” “I will never be able to love again” “I will never survive this” – we must be careful with our use of the word ‘never’ because it is the ingredient to a self-fulfilling prophecy. ‘Never’ is the absence of hope.

Hope is the belief that there is a light even when you’re surrounded by darkness. It is trusting, even when you feel there is no logical reason to trust.

Hope is peace. And the confidence of knowing that it will get better, that you will get through, that at the end of it all there is freedom.

Cling on to hope.

My friend spent two hours trying to speak truth into me last night, but it got us nowhere. And I saw the strain in this person’s face as they tried from every angle to push hope back into me – it was the same look I used to see in the eyes of my friends when they would tell me that one day I would be free from ED. I can’t describe this look in words, but if there was a song in the background it would be The Fray’s “How to Save a Life”. I never want anyone to look at me that way again.

You can’t be force-fed hope; you and you alone are in control of whether or not you will believe in yourself, whether or not you will believe that things not only can but will get better.

It really does all come down to you.

What choice will you make?

As for me, I choose hope. Because I realize without it, I have no legs on which to stand.

Lauren is the Founder and Editor of Libero. She started Libero in April 2010, when she shared her story about her struggles with an eating disorder and depression. Now Lauren uses her writing and videos to advocate mental health and body positivity. In her spare time, she enjoys makeup artistry, playing Nintendo, and taking selfies with her furbaby, Zoey.

SITE DISCLAIMER: The opinions and information shared in this article or any other Content on our site may not represent that of Libero Network Society. We hold no liability for any harm that may incur from reading content on our site. Please always consult your own medical professionals before making any changes to your medication, activities, or recovery process. Libero does not provide emergency support. If you are in crisis, please call 1-800-784-2433 or another helpline or 911.