Before Giving Up: Defining Hope



And glorious nonsense

A sunburst in my brain

And plans of things to come”

Hope by Damien Echols

(Get a copy of his book Life After Death)

There were many moments, for all who have ever questioned the squander of the deepest pits of my soul, that I wanted to give up. I know some of you who know my story – whether you watched with your eyes gaping open while I bookmarked the hours of physical and emotional nausea on Facebook, or if you happened to stumble upon my blog by accident and read the novelesque posting of what exactly my battle is – how did you not give up?

As evidenced through my chronicle of hardships and dealings – I am not perfect. I could stand here and tell you that the entire experience and what I continue to battle – is actually easy.

I would then become something I have never once been – a liar.

Truthfully – I grieve daily. There are still moments I feel like it will never end  – that the future, my dreams of complete recovery both mentally and physically, is nearly impossible.

I stopped counting my hours and days quite a bit ago. My Facebook rantings have gone from hour by hour to nearly minimal. It is not just that I am blogging them instead – it is certainly not because I decided to stop revealing such transparent details to an overwhelming amount of public supporters by putting words into the “Update your Status” bar – it is because I am now giving myself time to collect, understand, and hope.

Sure, you can look at the dictionary if you would like – hope defined.

Still yet – if you would really care to understand the inner patience it takes to feel death at your door, to feel your soul twisted into a ball of pain so indescribable (you can try to define me too, I say to the dictionary, but you cannot) – it comes from my own definition of hope.

I quoted the musing above by an inspiration I actually carried with me through this battle – Damien Echols.

His battle – different than my own (far different, and with all due respect, I am not comparing) – still gets me to dig deeper. I can close my eyes and feel those flashbacks welling up – and I know now still that I suffer with mental trauma that may be with me for years – depression can still weigh me down if I am not careful. While allowing myself to reflect on my journey is key to recovery – suffering from it requires me to search within myself to find the pathway home.

Allow me to define for you what kept my heart, my diversity of soul collecting emotions, and my spirit from not giving up – it was hope. Hope, as defined by your author here Jenn, is:

The knowledge, understanding, and willingness to embrace that you shall face hardship – coupled with the courage to choose a pathway into the future that serves your soul the happiness  it deserves – and while experiencing the stop at Just Let Me Give Up Avenue – the reflection of peace that exists in front of you keeps you going on the road to finding spiritual freedom. Hope is allowing yourself to believe that you WILL prevail.

Hope does not require permission. It requires belief in its existence – and the persistence to never let go of your soul – even at its weakest. And in my moments that I know will surely come where I continue to shoot down these darkest demons – I will remember – I never gave up before.

Why do it now?

Let YOUR hope guide you (oh this could be my bumper sticker, no?) – never give up – define hope to yourself – then thrive on it,  continue to seek your revelation, your peace, your recovery, your answer – whatever it is you are waiting for – and when you are considering just letting it go – “because it’s too hard” – “it’s too painful” – “I have nothing left” – keep going on You Will Win This Fight street – because it is no dead end.

Trust me, I know.


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