December 4, 2011


Hope is complicated. Or maybe it's simple and I was making it complicated. I'm not sure which. At the beginning of my second hospitalization I was exhausted at living because I only had reasons that I wasn't allowed to die. I thought that hope was finding reasons that I couldn't die. I told myself that I wasn't allowed to die because of my family and friends. But I still hated life. We had expressive writing therapy and the topic was writing a letter to hope. This is what I wrote:

Dear Hope,

Where the hell are you? I keep trying to find something that will fill up the depleting well. But I can't find any more of you. Sometimes you appear and hang out for a while but I don't know if that's enough. I don't know where to look. I don't know if I have the energy to keep digging. I don't know what to do anymore. I feel like I'm failing because I can't find you. I feel like what I have should be enough for you to be there. I feel like if I just ran a little bit harder I could catch you but I can't make myself do it. I don't have the energy. I hate this empty feeling without you. I'm tired of fighting. I'm so tired. Exhausted. I want to rest but I don't even have the energy to do that. I'm just stuck.

Fuck you for being so hard. Fuck you for not being there. Life sucks without you. I want to give up. I want so badly for this to stop. I wish I could see you. Maybe you're there and I just can't see you. But you're way better than me at hide-and-seek. I'm too tired. I don't want to play this game anymore.


Finding reasons that I couldn't die just wasn't enough. I've started to turn those reasons not to die, into reasons to live. It sounds pretty similar, but I think there's a big difference. It's the difference between something you have to do and something you want. So during one of the art groups in the first couple days at the hospital I made a booklet of things that I wanted to survive for. I drew from things that I enjoy and from things that my old therapist told me that stuck with me.

The Outside

It's a folding book, so this is the outside of it. The front is the Chinese symbol for the dragon, which is my birth year. I chose to use that because, to me, the dragon indicates strength and I know that I need strength in order to hold the hope with me. I lined the rest of it with something that represented color and art to me because art is so important to me. Not only is it something that allows me to release feelings, but it's something that I enjoy doing. I love doing this blog because it gives me some meaning in my life.

The Inside

On the inside I have, first, a list of people that are part of my support system. (I blurred out specific names.) I have my parents, my brother, my roommate, my friends and my old therapist. These are people I would never want to hurt and would never want me hurt. They are people that I know love me and want to be there for me. Underneath I have tissue paper petals to represent nature, which I find beautiful and inspiring. The next thing is a blank list that says 'Due Date' at the top. This is something my old therapist said to me about being there for future family members and not wanting to deprive them of me. This is something that stuck with me because I am excited to know who those people will be. Under that I have more representations of nature. The next thing is a cat to represent my love of animals. I am now volunteering at an animal shelter in order to give more meaning to my life and to be able to spend time with and help animals since I can't have my own at my apartment. The last thing is just something that says 'The Heart Only'. This is the back page of the booklet and represents how much more I could add to this booklet once I find more of those things to live for.

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