Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Giving Hope to the Hopeless

I really wanted to write 'Hope-Less' because 'Hopeless' makes you immediately think that the person in front of you is a complete idiot. Whereas 'Hope-Less' suggests that they are devoid of nearly all coping mechanisms and have forgotten what hope really is. And believe me, that is a truly tragic state - especially when you see that lost look in a young kid's eyes.

It's vital we break the circle of despair

Otherwise we consign the next generation, and then the next generation to repeating the mistakes of their parent(s).

Most people are ignorant of what it's like to be in a situation where there is no job, your boyfriend has left you with 2 toddlers and run off with his ice addicted new partner. That your parents separated when you were young and you haven't heard of your father since. Or that your Mum's around, but what with the price of "smokes" and what's left of  the pension going on rent, food and medicines "she's not much help". And your so-called friends all smoke, most take drugs and most of them are pretty "hopeless" too. Yeah, you'd like to get away and make a new start but where do you go?

Believe me, in some areas of all countries that is the constant story seen by family GPs. That, and those who are on sickness benefits because of bad backs/depression/chronic pain ...who attend your surgery like a flock of worn out folk and each and every one of them looking 20 years older than they really are. Even the infants in their prams look confused at the behavior of the person who's wheeled them in on that particular day. 

Checking out their medical records you see a long list of anti-depressants: sporadic correspondence from psychologists/psychiatrist which start out optimistic and then segue into frustrated pessimism. These poor people find it so hard to change because every day they see and do the same things. As one person was heard to say: the definition of insanity is when you keep doing the same thing and expect a different outcome.

But the family Doctor is one person who can play a big part in their lives. These people attend our surgeries on a very regular basis. There is one treatment that we can give them which I suspect is one thing that they never get anywhere else - SELF RESPECT

Here's my suggestion: find time to tell these lost and damaged souls that they are worthy of our time, they do have value and they should learn to respect themselves even when other idiots try to put them down. I challenge some patients to do just one simple act - lift their heads and look up. Instead of seeing the rubbish and detroitus on the pavement, they'll see some trees, see the sky and maybe even hear a bird sing. It's only one little thing but if they persist it will become a habit ....  a habit of looking for HOPE. And dear God, some of these people need that in their messed up lives.
Ampersands & angle brackets need to be encoded.


Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I work at a community center and although I don't change lives, I have found that giving a person a smile and a kind word of encouragement can help, if only temporarily. We bandage people, but more is needed.

Mariodacat said...

What an excellent post. I will try to follow your advice the next time I run into someone who is feeling "hopeless." How horrible to have to live that way with nothing to look forward to but total despair.