In 2012 during outpatient care for my first major depressive episode, I drew a little design to put on my bulletin board:
A close up of a burning candle wick with the words: “You DO have a FUTURE and it is WORTH FIGHTING FOR.”
During those months in outpatient care, I imagined hope as a tiny little flame against a sea of infinite darkness. It felt too small, too weak, and too fragile to survive. But still it burned. Still, I repeated my new mantra to myself and carried forward.
There have been points I have wanted to rip that little candle down. There have been days I have looked at my candle and with tears in my eyes have said to myself, “No, THIS was not worth fighting for. THIS has not been worth the pain and the hardship that I have endured. THIS is not enough.”
Then there are moments where I feel that flicker of joy and realize that THIS, my life, my dreams, the future after my first attempt to take my life, has been worth embracing.
It has not been easy. But I think I knew that when I first wrote my new mantra. FIGHTING is not easy. Having HOPE is HARD.
But I count every blessing and celebrate every victory.