From Failure to Hope

Stage One: Failure

Dear friends, Everyone will deal with failure. Whether it was your fault, or out of your control, it doesn't matter. Failing is failing and it impacts everyone all the same. Once you crash and burn, you want to give up, you feel hopeless, depressed, maybe a little frustrated. That's a part of life. And I'll have you know that life will cut you down, and it'll do it without hesitation. Because life is cruel. It won't serve you with a silver platter. It won't hold your hand and tell you, 'it'll be alright'. And if you believe life is just easy as I just said, and you think you can walk through it without a problem. Try thinking about that differently, because one moment you're happy and all is fine, but then the next, you're lost.

Stage Two: Wandering

'We have some difficult days ahead' for the once bright and sunny day you were just enjoying, suddenly turned dark, nearly pitch black and you find yourself wandering through a thick forest of sorrows and adversities and hardships and challenges. You have no idea what's in front of you and you want to forget what's behind you. You stumble upon roots in the ground and run into thorn bushes in your way. You get snagged on branches and snared in traps. You wish to see the light of aspiration at the end of this trail of pessimism that you feel like you've been traveling for an eternity already, but you're not making any progress because you're too down on yourself to try, because you failed that one time. You find yourself repeating the line, 'oh woe is me' and struggling to see the light of day once more but in order to do that you must right the wrongs in your life. You can't just give up and sulk in self pity. You get up and walk a different route. The route of recovery from your depression. As said in his speech, Martin Luther King Jr. says that, "[He's] been to the mountaintop. And [he's] seen the Promised Land." In order for us to get to that Promised Land, we need to cease in our wandering and sobbing and climb that mountain.

I know what it's like to be a wanderer, because me, as well as ten percent of American citizens are suffering from depression. Why, though? Why am I depressed? What do I have to be depressed about? It all started with a concussion I sustained last spring. After that, everything went down hill for me from there. I started getting failing grades, I had ADD before but now my attention deficit got worse once the school year began, and to top it all off, my grandfather died unexpectedly. And I'll have you know, I was very close to him. He saved my life twice, mind you. So I look up to him as my personal, dare I say, guardian angel. I put on a plastic smile nearly every school day and pretended everything was fine, but there's three chemicals that make up your emotions, and the chemical, norepinephrine, was lacking in my system, and that threw my moods into a wild loop. I didn't know that before. So I was wandering alone by myself. Not telling anyone about how I truly felt. But then one day, as I went for a casual walk, my iPod played one of my favorite songs, and the lyrics that spoke to me most, 'If you're lost and alone, or you're sinking like a stone, carry on'. That was when I had an epiphany, the only way I could, 'Carry On', was if I got the help I needed and let my feelings be made known. That night I spoke to my mother about my depression and harmful thoughts. She told me she loved me and we got help together. And so, I found my way out of that forest of many sorrows and now I'm recovering, slowly but surely. I chose a trail that pointed me in the right direction.

Stage Three: Hope

The trail I traveled has a brighter future for not only me, but you as well. And with everything you do right, whether that is getting the help you need or admitting something that's laying heavily on your chest, you're building yourself up again. And with every footstep you take advancing forward in a positive direction, the lighter the sky will be. And when you find your way out of the forest, you have a reason to rejoice. You went from falling down a hole and aimlessly wandering, to walking in that peaceful light with a full recovery. This light is hope. Hope for the present, for the future. And hope for yourself because you just set yourself up in a successful direction. And instead of saying 'oh woe is me' again and again, you'll be shouting, 'I made it out of this hell and conquered my life's many challenges'! 'May your past be the sound of your feet upon the ground, carry on'. And now that you carried on, you'll be content once again and you'll shine with that light of hope. And maybe, just maybe, you too can be a beacon for those who are still wandering that dreadful forest. Be a beacon for the wanderers. Help lead the way once you made a difference in your own life.