Hope is one of the things that keeps us going day by day. Catch a cold and you look forward to its finishing its course so you can be done with sneezing, snuffling, coughing and wheezing. Break a bone and you cope with the six or eight weeks while you are in a cast in anticipation of the day when it will be removed and you begin to resume your normal functioning. Even something as simple as buying something on credit triggers hope and the expectation that one day this will be paid off and you’ll be able to use your hard-earned money for something else.
But there are some things where hope for relief in this world is well… frankly, hopeless: mental illness (either your own or someone else’s), congenital problems (like downs syndrome), mysterious conditions (like autism), the debilitating effects of old age, infertility, mismatched marriage, bereavement, and others. In spite of promises made by snake oil salesman of various stripes, the chance of any positive change in these situations is slim indeed. Any progress is likely to be relatively small and often short-lived.
While some get through life mostly dealing with the short-term stresses of life serially, with periods of relief in between, others face stresses which are interminable. Things will not get significantly better; there will be no remission or respite. While, of course, there is hope for relief at the end or this life, we find ourselves settling down and establishing our permanent residence at the end of our rope. How do we find our way through, knowing that this is as good as it’s going to get?
“Living at the End of Your Rope: going on when things are not going to get better” is my latest work, with little written so far. I have first drafts of two chapters, but won’t put them up until they are a little more polished. Check in from time to time, things will appear on this page shortly.
By the way, if you have an idea for a chapter, please feel free to connect with me about that.