It can be hard to find hope with you have spent so many years looking for answers and in my case, ten years.
In the last five years. I have gained about 50 pounds and this started after I had my gall bladder taken out, then had a baby, started take way to many medications (steroids bulk you up), and didn’t have energy and the pain made it difficult to continue being active. Sometimes, when I look in the mirror, I see a completely different person than the one I used to see in the mirror five years ago. My husband, laughs when I say that, and he tells me that I am as beautiful as the day he met me. Yeah, that’s my husband, the charmer.
He also reminds me how smart I am, how strong I am, and how stubborn I am. He gives me hope when I feel like hope is running out. I look at my children and I see everything that I am and that gives me hope too. I blog because I want to give others hope, and then, I receive comments and emails, from others dealing with what I went through to find answers, telling me that my experience helps them – that gives me more hope. Hope has kept me strong all these years and in response, I envision better things and a better world.
What is hope anyway?
Hope is the belief that good things are ahead. Hope is way of thinking, believing, feeling and acting in an effort to get past difficult times. Yes, I have faced challenges and hope has made me tough. In the beginning, hope was difficult, but the more challenges I overcame, the easier hope became. I have heard people say that hope is the same thing as denial because to be hopeful means to pretend things aren’t as they are. I don’t believe that. To me, hope means finding a way to deal with overwhelming fears and doubts. Hope means being honest and true to oneself about life, and looking for positive outcomes towards to the future. Without hope, surviving is impossible.
What does hope mean to me?
For everyone, hope is different and it can be different at different points in our lives. These days, I hope for remission and for strength to find my way to remission. I hope that each day living with my conditions gets easier and my continued hope will guide me along the way.
Hope can come in so many different forms, including talking to others about your/their challenges with your/their conditions. It can mean working towards goals with your doctors and making good health choices that will allow you to feel confident about the future. Finding support and offering support means and creates more hope. Sharing our stories and struggles gives hope to others.
Finding hope can come through spirituality or through religion. I am not very religious but I do find strength through my belief of the Almighty. For others, talking to clergy or joining a religious support group can give them hope and help to find spirituality and religious basis of higher power.
Some people might look to science for answers that to hope. I have spent a lot of time educating myself on my conditions to a degree where my understanding of my conditions gives me so much hope.
Hope can come from one resource or it comes from a combination. When finding hope, there is no right or wrong way.
What is unique about hope is that is adaptable and accommodating because it changes, as do our lives, our goals and our dreams. When we find ourselves looking hope that seems nonexistent, we need to reexamine our goals and be more realistic about our hopes. We cannot always change certain outcomes but we can decide how we respond. Our response is what gives us hope, and not the outcomes.
There are also times where hope isn’t easy to find. The changes that come to our lives can sometimes be out of our control. Life’s struggles can be daunting and create a lot of uncertainty. Hope is what helps us move past the disappointments and the obstacles that are out of our control. Even when our challenges are huge, hope helps us to find the courage and the strength to face them head on.
I have had my ups and downs living with RA and FMS, and at some point, I was reminded that it wasn’t all about me. It was about those I loved, and if I didn’t have any hope, how would they? My kids rely on me for hope and I am not about to let them down.