Yeah in this wasteland, where I'm living
There is a crack in the door filled with light
And it's all that I need to get by
Wasteland by NEEDTOBREATHE
Warrior for hope. What does that even mean? When you have a mental illness (my current diagnoses are Borderline Personality Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder), finding hope can be so difficult. Some days the tunnel vision of my symptoms gets me to a place where I don't believe that things are ever going to get better.
Finding hope is not always so simple. And that's why I have to be a warrior - to fight for that hope even when I don't see it in the negative thoughts that bulldoze my mind. For those of us with mental illness, being a warrior for hope can often seem daunting or exhausting because we carry the weight of burdens, and depression, and anxiety, and self-loathing, and apathy or perfectionism, and struggle to believe we have what it takes.
But we have to remember this: life without hope births depression. And depression without hope births despair. And despair without hope is where we literally lose people's lives. I've been there. I get it. I'm currently in the early stages of emotional recovery from 2 suicide attempts (or intentional overdoses or cries for help, however you want to look at it -that's for another blog post) and 2 in-patient hospital stays. I got to that point of despair without hope. And it's a scary place.
But there is something so powerful when that glimmer of hope bursts into our thoughts and we can say - even if we don't 100% believe it - "Maybe tomorrow will be better." And a statement as simple as that can be the crack in the door filled with light. It's enough to take your focus off the door that's blocking most of the light (hope) in your life and to turn your eyes to one word or phrase that gives you the armor to keep going.
I know it's hard to repeatedly be a warrior for hope, day-after-day, when you don't have the energy, when depression is so overpowering, when anxiety breeds those racing thoughts, when paranoia makes you irrational. And that's why we can't do this alone. We weren't meant to journey through this process by ourselves.
So if you need to find someone else to be your warrior for hope on a day that just feels too impossible to battle on your own, that's ok. Call someone in your support system. If you don't want to talk to someone you know, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK and process with an anonymous soul that can be a listening ear. Or make an appointment with your doctor or therapist. Or even call 911 or go to your nearest Emergency Room. Connect with at least one person that will encourage you in hope.
You see, hope is not some small four-letter word. It's powerful. It's a driving force that- even in the slightest glimmer - encourages people to give tomorrow a chance. So let's be warriors together. Fighting for tomorrow. Fighting for hope.