anxiety hope mental health

When Anxiety Makes Hoping Difficult

Lately, I am having a hard time with the concept of hope. I remember living without any hope a few years ago. Now, I am almost to that point again. You see, hope scares me. I remember right before graduate school – I felt like the world was wide open for me. As I began to struggle, I lost a lot of that hope. Even though I gained pieces of it back, I almost become hesitant to be present in it.

Hope is such a peculiar emotion. It’s there to give you something to look forward to. It gives you something to strive for. It gives you faith that there is more out there for you. But the thought of having those things paralyzes me, because what if nothing happens with it? What if nothing changes? What if nothing comes to be of any of my hopes? What if that’s all I become – just me and my hopes?

I hear a lot about how hope gives people a reason to live. Depression stole my hope and anxiety creates fear of it. Then I end up just thinking about all the negative things that can happen because if it doesn’t happen then I’m pleasantly surprised and if it does then it’s what I was expecting. I understand that may not be the best way to live, being always ready for something bad, by not having hope protects me from disappointment.

Having hope is a risk. It’s risk that I’m not always willing to make. Recently I learned that having hope just leaves you disappointed. The thing is, I know not having hope is scary, but I can’t seem to shake my fear. Getting hurt is one of my biggest fears and hope only exacerbates the chance of that occurring.

I came to realize, that hope helps make life move. I am nervous to get my hopes up about my future, but if I don’t – how do I push myself to work for it? When will I get a chance to get excited again? I want to talk about the future with my boyfriend. I want to strive for future goals. So how do I do that? How do I not let anxiety and depression win?

I’m going to start hoping for small things (thanks to Marie from Hope Catches the Fall for the idea). For a good episode of a television show. For a good night with friends. For a good dinner. Eventually, I will start working on hoping for more meaningful things. Slowly, I will start having hope again. Being vulnerable. Hoping for something. Being okay if I was disappointed, because at least I was able to feel hope, and for a time, I wasn’t able to.

Below are four books that encourage me to have hope.

The Wisdom of Sundays: Life-Changing Insights from Super Soul Conversations

Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Daring Greatly by Brené Brown

3 thoughts on “When Anxiety Makes Hoping Difficult”

  1. Sweetie, don’t you dare ever give up on “Hope” I don’t know if you read my about page, but trust me when I say I almost gave up hope… The worse moment in my entire life. I could have given up on several occasions, but I persevered because I had to save my own life.
    You are an exceptional writer, and I look forward to your post- Why, because people with a mental illness/disorders are supportive to one another. We are there to help with advice, and suggestions that get us to the point of being positive.
    Seriously, check out my about page and you will see why I never gave in. All because my hope was stronger than my illness.
    God Bless You!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Beckie ! Thank you so much for this comment. I do love all the support I get here. Hope is such a tough concept for me ! I definitely have more than I used to but it also makes me so nervous. I am definitely trying to hope more.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I understand where you are coming from being scared of hope. Then when you feel no hope, life is just dull. I’m currently stuck in the same situation and you worded it so beautifully. I’m going to try having small hope too and check out those suggested readings.

    However, reading your articles gives me small hope. Makes me feel like I’m not alone and helps me understand my own pain and thoughts. Thank you for giving me hope


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