Defeat rather than Hope

             Defeat is the biggest epidemic in America today. Throughout most of my life I have realized that often people allow themselves to be defeated rather than holding on to the hope that is always available. I am currently working on my degree to be a therapist. In my internship I have realized that many people coming to see me do not have as much of a chemical imbalance as they have lost hope sometime in life or had it stolen and they never got it back. Hope is something that can seem to be taken away but in actuality it is always available. Hope is a feeling that even in the worst of circumstances can help someone get out of the pit.

                From a personal perspective I know that holding on to hope is a hard thing to do. I currently suffer from a generalized anxiety disorder that no one seems to understand. I have seen two therapists been to the doctor multiple times, and have changed my diet drastically just trying to stop the anxious thoughts that continually happen. One of my therapists looked at me and said “I do not know what else to do with you.” At that moment in my life the hope of ever getting better was dwindling away. I still do not understand what the anxiety stems from or when it will be gone but I have the hope that it will be. I know that as long as I keep trying, I will succeed and be able to move forward with my life and use this experience as another tool to help people along the way.

                I feel that often times a person has lost hope and they do not even know it. With working with some youth I have realized that their motivation to achieve a higher goal, something greater than what they see around them and in their families, is not there. I have talked with very smart bright youth who have no direction and just hope one day to have a job that will give them some money. In a society where it seems like everyone is going to college and getting a degree the answer of “oh I know I will just end up working in a factory like my mother” seems like a foreign concept to me. When I asked about college they stated that it was an impossible goal due to grades, money, or having to take care of other siblings. Where is the hope of becoming a doctor, or being the next president, or a firefighter? Sometimes I wonder if these adolescents have even been taught the concept of hope. If their parents or guardians had lost their own personal hope before their children were born so their children do not even know what hope is.

                When talking with my supervisor about what we can do to help these kids see hope again he looked at me with sad eyes and said “all we really can do is try to reach in and grab one out at a time.” But why is this the case? Why in today’s society where someone can make a million dollars in a matter of hours are there still people without hope for the future? The answer is this: the feeling of defeat has won out over hope. Without hope people choose to fill their voids with drugs and sexual relationships. Without hope people do not respect themselves. Without hope we will continue to be a society where depression is on the rise, where there are so many mental disorders that there is a thousand page books describing them.

                For this soon to be therapist I am taking a stand. I am standing up against defeat; I will work with these youth and tell them that they have more than that to look forward to in life. I will talk with everyone I meet about the need to give hope. I will pass my own hope to those who have none because without hope we all will die. And I am not willing to live that way. We will get rid of defeat! 

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