Hanging onto Hope

Hanging onto Hope

by Denise Caudill-Irons, NHI Board Member and Parent

If you really want to scare people this Halloween, answer honestly when they ask you how you are doing.

When I do, I see the blood drain from their faces; their eyes widen and dart around the room looking for a way out; and then, they quickly escape as though my pain is contagious. Luckily, most people step into my tale of gloom, giving me the strength and comfort that has sustained me through this unexpectedly long season of extraordinary situations.

As the weeks turned into months, I felt disheartened and discouraged. The fear, self-doubt, and second guessing crept into my pores and began to fester and grow into a monster of despondency. I can usually tackle issues as they present themselves; but this time, there were various matters causing havoc. I succumbed to the stress. First, I began to make notable mistakes. I am diligent about staying organized and establishing safeguards to prevent disasters from happening. Nonetheless, mistakes still occurred. Luckily, I had those safeguards in place; and the errors did not have catastrophic consequences. However, the shame and disappointment that I felt was very real, and it took some time to forgive myself for being human.

The stress took a physical toll as well. Not enough to make me go to the doctor, but enough to scare me into realizing that I need to release the worry and fear that I cannot control. Along with my episode came an acute awareness that I am getting older and cannot bounce back as quickly. Realizing that I am not a superwoman was enlightening and devastating at the same time. To admit that I was delusional about my physical well-being is quite embarrassing, but I appreciated the insight before a serious illness occurred. Taking care of my physical health has never been a priority, and attempting to make healthy changes to my lifestyle is overwhelming.

Being fallible has humbled me. I am slowly coming out of the disarray, and it has been a struggle. I am grateful for the support and understanding that I receive. Without the wonderful group of people who are in my life, I would not be moving on from this latest tribulation. As hard as it is to keep that flicker of hope going in the darkness, I know that I can never let it be extinguished. Some days, hope is the only thing that keeps me moving forward. If I didn’t give up yesterday, then I can’t give up today, because I never know what’s just around the corner. Sometimes the passage of time is the only option.

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One Comment

  1. Joani Staubach October 30, 2019 at 6:29 pm

    Time for breakfast or a walk.

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