Friday, June 8, 2012

How do you not lose hope?

Dear readers,
I'm on the road this week and have a very limited Internet connection, so I'll keep this short. Sorry I missed yesterday. Tomorrow I'll be selling books at a festival in San Jose, so I'll be offline then, too. Next week, I'll be back on schedule.

I interviewed a very interesting woman yesterday. She's exactly my age, but her life is very different because she has children and grandchildren. Toward the end, she asked about my children, and I had to tell her "I don't have any children." "Oh, I thought you did," she said. Sigh.

I received a comment yesterday from a new reader who became so unhappy with her childless state that she slashed her wrists. I was shocked by that, but unhappiness can lead one to all kinds of desperate measures. She assured me she is in treatment now and is okay, but she wants to know how people cope and how they keep going without losing hope. Maybe one way is stepping out of your own grief to help other people. So, my friends, do you have any words of comfort for the woman who calls herself Lizardgoat and for anyone else who might be feeling just as desperate but hasn't found the courage to write?

Talk to you soon.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think what keeps me out of the dumps is to look at the challenges of others. I don't have children, but I also don't have cancer.

Not that one should always discount her troubles and look at the bright side. Not being a mother when you want to be one hurts. And we should look for love and support to help us through that frustration. Being childless is a life long exclusion from the one very high profile club we want to be in. So yeah, it stinks and we need to embrace that pain. Still, life could be far worse, couldn't it?

One time I read something about a person who wanted to be a mother all her life, then she had a child who turned out to have special needs. She's a mother but not like she wanted to be. No tee-ball games for her. No fun back to school shopping trips. Her life is all about feeding tubes and doctor visits.

God doesn't give us what we want. He gives us what we need. I can't explain it. We don't know what God has in store for us so we ALL might as well appreciate all the good things we have.

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Thank you for this comment, Anonymous. You give us a lot of good things to think about.

Professor said...

I agree with Anonymous. I read an article in Psychology Today not so long ago that said that "looking on the bright side" of our pain or comparing our challenges to the challenges of others can sometimes make us feel worse - because not only does the pain not go away, but we now also make ourselves feel guilty for dwelling on our pain.

What does seem to help is that by acknowledging the differences between our conditions and the conditions of others, our challenge seems a little more special. There isn't a single famous historical person that comes to mind who hadn't had some sort of tragedy to contend with. That gives me a sense that if I embrace this pain as special to me - as the mountain I must climb, or the cross I must bear - then I am more motivated to work through that pain to do something great for the world.

I hope that helps. :)