Don’t Take Away My Hope

HopeWhen I began this blog on 10/24/2012, I mentioned the importance of hope because it affects both survival and recovery. The following poem, which was written by Debbie Wilson, provides further supporting evidence that hope matters:

Don’t Take Away My Hope

“Things may be bad sometimes and to some may seem hopeless,
please just let me accept my life in reality and love my life anyway.
I’m asking you to try not to steal what keeps me going…Hope.

There are those times that I am quite aware of how bad things are,
those temporary moments when I can’t see through my streaming tears,
But I am begging you to let me hold on to what I need…Hope.

Please don’t ever say you could not stand to live the life that I have,
you couldn’t possibly know unless my life were the life you were living.
I’m asking you to let me have what I need for the moment…Hope.

Don’t make false promises or false dreams, but let me have my dreams.
Please don’t as a professional, ever say there are no more answers or help,
I am pleading with you to allow me the luxury I need most…Hope.

Always there are more answers, it may just be you without those answers.
When you make these type of remarks, it makes it hard to hold on to my hope.
I am telling you that all patients need that one joint component…Hope.

If you haven’t walked in someone else’s shoes, don’t be too quick to judge.
All of us at times face adversity, just some have to live with it all the time.
We are somehow able to find strength and endurance through…Hope.

Don’t ever say we will amount to nothing or get nowhere fruitful in this life,
as long as we can live, we can still give to someone who needs what we  have.
In giving to others the survival tips we have learned we have…Hope.

No matter how grave the situation or how serious the medical problem,
remember that miracles and things not quite understood by man happen.
Don’t ever be so cruel and heartless as to take away someone’s…Hope.”

~ Debbie Wilson, Don’t Take Away My Hope, 7-24-96

Please share your feelings about hope so others can benefit from your experience maintaining or losing hope. What gives you hope? How do you maintain hope when the people around you suggest that there is no reason to hope? How do you regain or strengthen hope that has been taken away from you? Is recovery likely without hope?  Is there a trait that is more important than “hope” in terms of recovery? What do you do to recharge the hope in others when they most need hope?

Thanks to Debbie Wilson for sharing her poem.


  1. here’s the rest
    “Learning to see it as a holy sanctuary
    Which can bring this night-wound gradually
    Toward the healing of freedom of dawn.

    May you be granted the courage and vision
    To work through passivity and self-pity
    To see the beauty you can harvest
    From the riches of this dark invitation.

    May you learn to receive it graciously,
    and promise to learn swiftly
    That it may leave you newborn,
    Willing to dedicate your time to birth.

  2. A quote from John O’Donohue, “Bless the Space Between Us” pp.60-62

    For A Friend on the Arrival of Illness

    Now is the time of dark invitation
    Beyond a frontier you did not expect
    Abruptly, your old life seems distant.

    You barely noticed how each day opened
    A patch through fields never questioned,
    Yet expected, deep down, to hold treasure.

    You lived absorbed in the day-to-day,
    So continuous with everything around you,
    That you could forget you were separate,

    Now this dark companion has come between you
    Distances have opened your eyes,
    You feel that against your will
    A stranger has married your heart.

    Nothing before has made you
    Feel so isolated and lost.

    When the reverberations and shock subside in you,
    May grace restore you to balance;
    May it shape a new space in your heart
    To embrace this illness as a teacher
    Who has come to open your heart to new worlds.

    May you find in yourself
    A courageous hospitality
    Toward what is difficult,
    Painful and unknown.

    May you learn to use this illness
    As a lantern to illuminate
    The new qualities that will emerge in you.

    May the fragile harvesting of this slow light
    Help to relese whatever has become false in you.
    May you trust this light to clear a path
    Through all the fog of old unease and anxiety
    Until you feel arising within you a tranquility
    Profound enough to call the storm to stillness.

    May you find the wisdom to listen to your illness:
    Ask it why it came. Why it chose your friendship.
    Where it wants to take you. What it wants you to know.
    What quality of space it wants to create in you
    What you need to learn to become more fully yourself
    That your presence may shine in the world.

    May you keep faith with your body…(3 more stanzas I could not post)

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