Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.

I had a math teacher in high school that told me, “Shinn, life is a series of choices. You can choose to do your work or choose to get in trouble. From there, you can choose your punishment. You can write a ten thousand word paper on the manufacturing of sulfuric acid or you can take the swats (yes, they did that back then.) Shinn, you always got choices.”

I was a smart mouth kid in high school and as a consequence, it regularly got me in trouble. As unorthodox as it might sound, my teacher’s position on choices had a positive effect on me. It did etch into my mind that choices are a real part of navigating life.

So am I saying that can I just choose to get over depression? That its all up to me to me to “just snap it?” Here’s how my thought is different.

I’m saying while depression might dog me, I’m also saying I refuse to adopt an identity as a victim of depression.

Some of you reading this might be in the same place I was. You’re in a dark place or maybe just an uncertain place. Like I was, you might be asking important questions. Can I change? Can I get over this? Can I adopt a new identity? Is there hope for me?

Yes. Yes. Yes. And Yes.

The film Shawshank Redemption is a picture of what hope can do for a man looking to escape prison. This exchange is one of my favorite quotes from the movie.

Andy: …there are places in the world that aren’t made out of stone. That there’s… there’s somethin’ inside that they can’t get to; that they can’t touch. It’s yours.

Red: What are you talkin’ about?

Andy: Hope.

Red: Hope? Let me tell you something, my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane. It’s got no use on the inside. You’d better get used to that idea.

One of the first casualties of Depression a loss of Hope. Without Hope, there is no better future. There is no recovery because there is no vision for it. No chance. No possibility. Hope is our greatest ally. And we can’t hope alone.

To be continued…

Hope is a Good Thing