Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.� Hebrews 11:1.
In an attempt to (once more) begin posting to this blog on something like a regular basis, I thought I would address a theme that has been much on my mind these past few years: hope. The quote above expresses some thoughts that I have found to be very true in my ongoing battle with bipolar depression.
Faith without hope is an empty word. As a matter of fact, you may even say that faith ain’t nothing but hope misspelled (sorry, Harlan*). This is something that is hard to understand unless you have been in the Pit.
Depression, especially the intense depression that goes with Bipolar Disorder of all kinds, is at heart a true absence of hope. Notice I didn’t say “lack” of hope. This is a misconception that many people have. Lack implies that there is something left. Depression leaves nothing behind but waste, rot, and wreckage.
This is a lonely battle that so many of us have to fight. Even in the midst of family and friends, the absence of hope is a reality that not even love can overcome, sometimes. Without hope, there is no faith in the future, or even the present. Without faith, love cannot thrive.
Often, unfortunately, we cannot even see the love that is most assuredly there. The veil that obscures our vision in these times is fear: fear that there is no tomorrow, fear that “all is vanity and chasing the wind”, fear that this time hope will not return.
What can anyone do to win such a war, a constant battle with ourselves? I have no answers, only questions. All I know is to keep going on. Right now, I have some hope. I know I will never be well, but I hope we can get my meds straightened out. I hope I can one day feel wholly human again.
Until my hopes become reality, I keep on the upward path. I write my pain and my sorrow. I weep; I rage; I weep some more. You won’t see that writing here. Maybe no one will ever see it. I will, though, try to talk about other things along the way, and not just whine and moan.
Until next time, then: keep your chin up. Snorting swamp water is bad for the sinuses.
*Harlan Ellison published a collection of short stories called “Love Ain’t Nothing but Sex Misspelled”. I’ve always loved that title.