Finding Hope in the Storm of Mental Illness
Updated: Aug 9, 2022
My daughter recently taught me about finding hope when I am consumed by the storm of depression.
When weighed down by the challenging symptoms of mental illness, hope is elusive at best. Life feels impossible. Storm clouds loom in every sky and the darkness seems permanent.
How do we believe that hope and help are out there, even if they are over the rainbow in some land we've only seen in our dreams?
My youngest child is almost 11 years old. Frequently, when I ask if she knows where an object is hiding (like my keys or her lunchbox), she replies without missing a beat: "Oh, somewhere over the rainbow." This is her way of saying, "I have no idea, but it has to be out there somewhere!"
Kate is wise! She knows that the thing she seeks actually exists even if she can't currently see it. This is hope.
Hope is also found in our friends who have also struggled with depression. Through the healing stories of others, I can find hope that my mental illness will become more manageable.
I nurture growing hope that my depression is survivable through the hearts of those who have traveled a similar dark road. Knowing that others have found the right path, basked in the light that shines on the other side of the rainbow, and returned to help those who are still wandering gives me hope that I might one day do the same.
Perhaps my story gives you hope. Perhaps your story is giving another person hope.
If you are struggling with mental illness, please reach out for help. Please give your medication more time to work. Please give your therapy another chance. Please stay.
Please talk about your experience, because your story is valuable. Take my hand, and we'll find "somewhere over the rainbow" together.
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