Inspirational Thoughts for Feelings of Hopelessness

There were two searches for hopelessness this morning, and I would like to address this topic today. I wish to offer some solace and comfort to those of you who are feeling hopeless.

I remember what it was like to have feelings of hopelessness. It was a feeling that what I wanted and expected would not happen, that there was no sign of a favorable outcome. It led me to great depression and despair, and I spent every day praying to God to let me die. I was miserable and did not want to continue in life.

Then something happened which turned that around for me. I listened to the people who were urging me to seek professional psychiatric help for my depression and despair. I sought help through the County Mental Health system. What I discovered was, I was suffering from major depression and panic disorder.

Ray of Hope

Suddenly, armed with this new information, I saw a ray of light, a twinkling of hope. I felt less like I was a loser, a failure. I accepted the recommendation to take medication for my disorders and I began to feel better emotionally. It was like it says in my book, Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing:

“A ray of light across the bars of my being lights my way, instills hope in my heart.”

Just that little bit of light began the journey out of my emotional prison. But what really transformed my hopelessness was being of service to another who was suffering the way I was. I shared with them about my story, and efforts I had made to heal from my past, which is why I was feeling so hopeless. I began to feel worthy, worthwhile. From that point on, I felt hopeful that things could get better.

The thing is, I had to keep sober to get to that point. I had to maintain my sobriety. If I had not done that, I believe I would have stayed in that feeling of hopelessness, unable to get out at all. As is was, I was given the gift of continued sobriety because I worked at it.

As that ray of hope grew, I began to look at my expectations and discovered that what I was expecting was unrealistic. My expectations were too high. In my case, I was expecting to clear the pain of my past away, to wipe it from my mind. What I learned to do instead was to use it to help others, and that led me to more hopefulness.

I began to set realistic goals and dreams, based in every day occurrences. The more I helped others, the more peace with my past I began to have. It was amazing how that worked, but it did. With just that small ray of light, that ray of hope, I was able to conquer my hopelessness and that occurred because I asked for help. Asking for help allowed me to get unstuck and move forward. I stopped asking to die, and thanked God instead for showing me a better way, for guiding me to be of service to others.

Today, I have continual hope and the feelings of hopelessness have not returned. I consciously try to not have expectations for anything, and my goals and dreams are more realistic and attainable. This has led me to peace and joy.

Do you have feelings of hopelessness, like life is not worth continuing? If you do, I wish for you the courage to ask for help, to talk it over with someone else. I wish for you to be of service to someone else who is struggling also, so that you feel that your experience is worthwhile and through that, feel more hope. I wish you well on your journey.

 

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Motivating Words to the Hopeless

“Motivating words to the hopeless” was a search term that found my site yesterday. It plucked at my heart strings when I saw this, as I know how horribly deflated one is when they feel hopeless. I just had to offer words of hope, because I’ve had it turn around for me, and if, through my sharing, it can turn around for you, then my heart is full.

I left a fairly rotten childhood with feelings of hopelessness. Yet, I woke up each day, hoping things could get better, searching for a way past the feelings that everything was hopeless. I went through my life, drinking and drugging to numb those feelings that I was hopeless, that I was hopeless, mind you, not that my situation was hopeless, although my situation certainly factored in.

It was not until the age of 48 that I got sober, and then it was 5-6 years into sobriety during which time I felt hopeless. While underlying everything was that feeling that I was a hopeless case, a hopeless person, it showed up as feelings of despair, not understanding what the purpose of my life was, seeing no purpose in my abusive childhood, for example, seeing no purpose to me being alive.

I started to pray to God to let me die because I was too afraid to commit suicide and fail. One day, I was at a meeting and afterwards was able to help a man who was struggling emotionally, just by sharing my story and how I had found the healing that I had up to that point. He was so grateful, tears came to his eyes.

I left and realized that my abusive life had had a purpose. If it hadn’t occurred, I never would have had the need to heal and recover from it, never would have learned what I learned, never would have been able to help that man. Suddenly, in an instant, as though struck by lightning, I realized that my life had a purpose, that I had a purpose, and that purpose was to speak to people feeling hopeless, in an effort to relay that hope is reachable, that it is possible to have, to achieve.

That’s how getting past feeling hopeless came to me. It was through my giving to another that I realized my worth and developed hope. For yourself, are you willing to go there? To be of service to another? Do some thinking about your level of willingness and write about it. If resistant, write about that, too, and see if you can get past it and resolve it.

Then search your lifetime for something you have overcome. If you haven’t overcome anything, then create something, overcome something. For example, you could become sober and need only be 2 steps ahead of the guys with no sobriety, and when you talk to that man or that woman about the benefits of your sobriety, it gives them hope. That becomes your purpose, to give hope to another person trying to stay sober for just one more day.

So, what if your thing is not drinking. Certainly, you have some obstacle in your life to overcome. Work with and on that. When you have overcome it, you have a purpose, which is to relay to others who are suffering from it, how to get past that obstacle. See how it works? Once you find yourself being of service to another, your life will change and your feelings of worth will increase, those feelings of being hopeless will fade away in the glow of your service. All it takes is one person with whom you share your gift.

What is the situation that leads you to feel hopeless? What is your obstacle you have or will overcome? How can you be of service to another and spread the word of hope?

 

 

 

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To Have Hope In Hopelessness

To have hope in hopelessness… Ah, yes. The ever-illusive hope. The crawl from hopelessness to a semblance of peace and calm inside. The search term which struck me from yesterday was “to have hope in hopelessness.” There were actually two queries related to finding hope from hopelessness, so I thought I would address one way in which to do that.

Hope is defined as a feeling that what is wanted will occur or happen; it is desire accompanied by expectation. It is that state in which we all wish to live, as our desires and expectations are met. In this case, the desire is for peace-of-mind. You keep your hope because you expect your desire to have emotional peace will be met.

What happens when it isn’t? What happens when you slip into hopelessness? First of all, it has been my experience that you don’t just “slip” into hopelessness. In my journey, hopelessness came after repeated and seemingly endless desires that were not met. Being continually let down

Hopelessness is the state of having no belief that things can get better, the belief that your situation is impossible to solve or deal with. It often slides into despair, which is utter loss of hope and the resulting dejection that occurs. Often, when you are in despair, you think about dying.

I got to a point of utter hopelessness and despair about five or six years into my sobriety. I could see no purpose in having had to endure what I did as a child, other than to make me miserable in my life. I had sustained PTSD as a result of the chronic abuse; it went undiagnosed until I was 53 years old, so I lived with it all that time.

I saw no purpose in my childhood experience, no way that it added to my growth or evolution as a human being. I wanted to die. Afraid I’d fail in my attempt at suicide, I started praying to God to let me die. I became despondent when that didn’t happen.

So, where do you go when you are feeling hopeless, despondent and despairing? In my case, it was over a bad childhood. If you are a Vietnam Veteran, it may have been the degradation of your honor, based on how you were greeted and treated when you returned home. Whatever the cause, hopelessness is devastating and erodes your spirit, your very soul.

Quite by accident, I stumbled upon a solution. Frankly, I don’t think it was an accident; I believe it happened by divine intervention…  I had an experience that melted away my terrible hopelessness and despair. I had an opportunity to be useful to someone else who was suffering emotionally, someone else who felt hopeless from his years of treatment he received as a child.

After I had been of service by sharing my similar experience and how I had healed thus-far, I realized that, without my experience with childhood trauma and the will to try and get out from under its long-lasting effects, I never would have been able to help this man. I never would have been of service to him.

Suddenly, the experience of trauma made sense. It happened so I could be of service to another. The trauma had a purpose. I had a purpose. It was to help  out a fellow human being. On that day, I believed in a flash that my message is God-sent, and is intended for you who are feeling, or have felt, hopeless in their lives. My message is one of hope that your experiences can be made purposeful if you turn around and help another through their troubles, sharing what you have learned.

Not only did I see in that instant that my history served a vital function; I also saw that my message of hope was meant for many people. Within my message of hope comes the ability to forgive after years of anger and bitterness, the recovery from long-standing and debilitating grief.

You will need to search the corners of your heart and determine what difficult life lessons warrant sharing with another or others. How can you take your experiences and be of service to others? Even just one other person…  I invite you to take action by figuring this out and carrying out that service. It is the most satisfying feeling to be of service to another. It offer them hope in hopelessness.

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Overcoming Despair in Sobriety

Face of Despair

Perhaps the hardest thing we have to do in sobriety is to overcome despair. It is a most debilitating feeling, and if we are “down” enough, we might be feeling this despair.

Despair is a loss of hope. To be without hope is devastating, a bleakness beyond belief. Often, we drink heavily over our despair, and this only serves to compound it. 

The sound of despair is that of a wail, a keening. If you have ever been there, then you know what I’m talking about. Have you ever been there? Are you there now?

If you are there now, there are things to do which may be helpful. At least, they helped me to dispel my despair.

The first thing to do is to stay sober, no matter what, no matter how difficult the feeling of despair becomes. Then, what worked for me was journaling about those feelings. Brisk walks several times a day also helped, but often, we don’t have the energy for this.

It pays to understand why we are in despair, and that is what journaling can help to uncover. It also helps to get professional help from a therapist. At least, those actions worked for me.

But the thing that helped the most with my despair, was to discover that my life had a purpose. Once I discovered that purpose, my despair went away and it has not returned. For me, discovering that I could help others by telling my story, combatted my despair. I discovered that my life of misery and woe and hardship was worthwhile because it could be of use to others.

Try to discover the purpose of your life. Do some journaling about it and see if something comes up about your purpose in life. Perhaps it is to share your art, or your words with the world. Or maybe your gift is to cook.

Whatever your gift is, find the one thing that makes you of service to others, the one thing you can bring to others to make their lives better. When you can figure this out, then you can overcome despair because you are being of use to another and that is a divine feeling, a divine purpose. You feel complete when you are being of service to others.

 What is your gift that you can bring to others? How can you be of service in the world? When you figure this out, see if that doesn’t begin to rid you of hopelessness, of despair.

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