The Importance of Holding onto Hope

The Importance of Holding onto Hope

Through the Fog
Our lives go through many seasons. For example: childhood, teenage years, college, our first job, marriage, having children, retiring, becoming grandparents — and developing a chronic illness such as fibromyalgia.

Through all the ups and downs of our life, I think the one thing that keeps us going is hope. There is a verse in the Bible that says hope deferred makes the heart sick. I think that means that if you lose hope, you’ll lose the will to go on. So, we need to find that hope and hold onto it for dear life.

Hope keeps us looking for a cure. Hope doesn’t disappoint. Hope is something we could wake up with every morning and put it on the same way we put on our clothes. Without hope it’s so easy to just sink into the mire of depression.

Hope is saying that you are not going to let FM have the upper hand. It’s not a pie-in-the-sky attitude; it’s CHOOSING to look on the bright side. It’s desiring to make more of your life, in spite of your limitations.

I really like the Webster’s dictionary definition of hope: “To expect with confidence.” What can we expect with confidence? That someday they’ll find a cure, that we will have good days, that we will get the support we need, that they’ll develop a medicine with greater results, that (fill in the blank with your wish).

What might the opposite of hope look like? Despair? Discouragement? Hopelessness? I think it’s important to hope for a better future and then move toward it, otherwise nothing will really change. I would encourage you to find something you can do that will bring a measure of joy to your life, as well as to the lives of others. That’s my goal.

Perhaps you can bring hope to others by finding a senior center and writing to one or two residents who don’t have anyone who visits them. You could knit baby hats or blankets and donate them to a crisis pregnancy center. You could bake a batch of cookies and bring them to your local firehouse.

As you bring hope to others, you will feel your own hope begin to grow and blossom.

I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas.

Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.

18 comments

  1. Rita Cooney says:

    Right on again! It is hope that keeps us going and I believe we do have reasons for hope whether is is hope for a “good day” or hope that there will be some scientific breakthrough to help us. We must hold onto that and also the fact that we can still experience joy.
    I was pleased that you brought up the idea of visiting the elderly and would like to elaborate on that. Because I was so involved with my mother for many years I got in the habit of visiting those in assisited living even after she passed a few years ago. While difficult at times I learned so much about what these souls go through and how wonderful it is to bring a bit of joy to them with a visit. My husband and I are retired so it is easier for us at this time in our lives than for so many of you and I know many of us are simply not up to this kind of outing. The good thing about it is we can determine how much time we spend or when we go. It is kind of a “light volunteering” without a schedule we must adhere to which is good for us Fibro Folks. It is most rewarding at this point in my life as I get a feeling of usefullness which is hard to come by these days. For those of you who are holding down jobs and still raising your families , etc. you are “giving” all the time!

  2. Denise Bault says:

    I’m a true believer in helping others. How about us helping ourselves? I HOPE that the 5-12 million fibromyalgia sufferers will start advocating for themselves, contact their legislators and “leaders” and DEMAND that they add funding in order to do more research into the cause and hopefully the cure for this illness! I HOPE that someone who has a website will devise a petition to send electronically to our insurance companies, as well as our local, state and federal representatives to COVER currently uncovered therapies that provide relief- like massage therapy! That’s where my HOPE lies. Robin, you have a website. Perhaps you could help us HOPE our way along…?

  3. Mark Koharchick, PhD, LPC, BCN Pain Medicine Psychotherapist, St. Agnes Hospital, Fond du Lac, WI says:

    Hi Robin,
    I have been working with those afflicted with FM for over 6 years. I have 2 psychotherapy groups in which I search for the latest info on FM and distribute it to the group. I was very pleased to read your thoughts on Hope. I have found, in all patients I have encountered, but especially in FM patients, that Hope is “KEY” to their survival. And I say more so than with other pain populations based on what I think is one central fact. FM has yet to be recognized as on “official” disease. As you, and others who have FM know all to well, the feeling of being questioned about your pain, and then being told “It’s all in your head, just get up and force yourself to do something”, are words that can literally rip out any sense self-worth or esteem a person may have. Hope is the life-saver one holds onto and never lets go of. Hope gives one a sense of having some degree of control over a life that has had a monkey wrench thrown into it and nothing will ever be exactly the same again. With hope one can tap into creative resources and look for ways to live a fulfilling, meaningful, and productive life. Hope is what should be engrained onto one’s forehead so it is never dismissed. If not, what is left in life becomes the phrase that was written at the entrance to Hell, from Dante’s “Inferno”,”Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here”. Thank you again for your expression on Hope!

  4. Denise Bault says:

    Robin, speak with the “techies” that put together your website. I’m sure they will either know or could point you in the correct direction…

  5. Susan Parker says:

    I’ve recently taken up baking and am trying out new recipes for our youth Valentine’s dinner. So, I’m thinking that I’ll take a batch of baked goods up to the local fire fighters and see what they think about them!!! Thanks for the idea!

  6. Metti says:

    Hold
    On
    Pain
    Ends

    That’s what HOPE is to us that have Fibro. It has taken away so much of me, my mobility, my freedom of choice, my spontaneity and even my dignity but it’s not taking away my laughter and sunshine. I have boards on Pinterest to help others with Chronic Pain. I find it comforting and it’s also the place I post my poems that I write when I can’t sleep! I also speak out about why we don’t have any funding like other long term illnesses and ask why we aren’t allowed to get prescribed weed among other touchy subjects. I’ve just found out the health benefits gained by using an essential oils diffuser and have started up a board for that. Like I said Fibro isn’t gonna stop me!! 🙂

  7. Amy says:

    I absolutely agree that you can’t lose hope! I did lose hope about a year ago when a series of unfortunate events took over my life and ultimately also caused my family (except my parents) to abandon me in an inpatient psyche facility. I was abused by this facility and was treated like a criminal, but my kids and sister thought that was where I should be since they don’t want to continue helping me. I got out of it in 5 days, but it was 5 days of hell and hunger because they couldn’t provide me with the gluten free, sugar free diet I have to stay on to prevent major flares – and the facility doesn’t help you detox, they want you to suffer through it so you won’t get ‘hooked’ again. I never take more medicine than I am prescribed and I don’t seek out illicit ways to purchase more, which my kids would know if they actually decided to make time to visit me. After all of this, I decided I was better off committing my life to God and let him hold the burden for as long as possible while he put my life back together. I was homeless when I got checked out and I work as a contractor so I only get paid for what I produce. I decided and hoped that my friends at church would help me out – and they did which has restored my hope that I can lean on my church family and they support me in so many ways. I am part of my church’s music department. I took up handbells about 4 years ago and I also play clarinet for Christmas and Easter and any other time they need additional music provided. I get so much joy from making music!! I am in 2 different handbell choirs, so I have become closer to several members who provided everything they could while I was homeless. That is also a joy and a means for me to grab hope all over again! It does certainly lessen my stress and pain to know I have a place to go where the focus isn’t always on my fibro. It gets exhausting when everyone wants to fix something that I know they can’t, and they are starting to understand this now and just support me by prayer and making sure that music is always a joy! I have also found joy in a church family that took me in at the first of December and then found a friend who could permanently give me shelter for a low rent until I can get back on my feet. They are Cuban and family means everything to them, so I now have been adopted by them and their extended friend and family circles. They have been a huge blessing. I encourage anyone with FM/CFS to search out people who will support you just because they know you have a disease and don’t question what you can or can’t handle. Too many people just think to pity FM sufferers when we all would feel better if they just bring joy and company to give you a reason to get out of bed in the morning….or afternoon!

    • Robin Dix says:

      Amy, I’m so sorry for those awful experiences and shame on your family! I’m so glad you’ve found such joy in your music and have a church family that cares for you ?

  8. Wendy says:

    Here is a petition website:
    Change.org
    The cool thing is once you sign a petition there for whatever cause, future petitions are sent to you via email for your consideration. So a wide segment of people will be informed about a cause. How about a petition asking medical schools to add more curriculum in pain management, fibro, chronic illness, and autoimmune disorders? Or a petition demanding accountability for the CDC, FDA, and DEA? For example, the CDC quietly released a statement advising pain clinicians to stop dropping patients who use marijuana with the concern of “do not harm”. Not surprisingly, clinicians are firing patients and harming them by refusing to treat chronic pain… Because the CDC statement was quietly released with very low visibility and publicity… Instead of broadly informing the medical community. I could rant on endlessly… But change.org is potentially a great petition tool.

  9. Denise Bault says:

    Wendy, Thanks. FINALLY! I’m currently doing my research on how we can connect to the “decision makers” in order to contact them directly. Will let you and Robin and the rest know what I find out! Many blessings to you all….

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