April 2015’s Blogging A to Z:
I’m a pessimist. I don’t mean that so much in I see bad and horrible things all around me. on the contrary, I go out of my way to try to both find and create goodness. I admire the small child bouncing through the puddles in a parking lot; I smile at complete strangers who are humming to themselves; I extend warm thank-yous to those who hold the door open for me. but I am a pessimist. I assume that horrible, terrible things are what are most likely. not always promised, just likely.
this pessimism increases the strength of my depression. and my depression, especially when unmedicated, breeds hopelessness. I no longer merely predict things will turn out poorly; I now expect them to. and I expect them to turn out horribly with such sureness that I am surprised and in disbelief when it doesn’t. but before we get to that point, while are still waiting the demise of justice or happiness, I become hopeless.
I become so hopeless, I don’t even want to want the good anymore. the hopelessness yields this sense of despair and void, an emptiness that strips me of all effort and care and love and desire.
and that’s where I’m at these days. it’s a numb pain; it’s like the throbbing of a wasp sting after the venom has passed. you know it should hurt more; but you don’t care, because the poison’s already in your system.
in many of the scholarly pieces I’ve read over the years, it seems depression precedes hopelessness. many with depression will just mull in their sorrows; it’s not until they reach a point of actual hopelessness and true despair that they ever take any actions to either A] get better or B] get gone. in many of my research on my more morbid interests, Dr. Aaron Beck’s work reappears. as per this topic, I can bring up the Beck Hopelessness Scale. it was created back in 1974, so the assessment is very simple. but if one is being honest with himself, he’ll see if he’s in line for a path of trouble, or just having a rough ride.
for shit’n’giggles, let’s take it right now:
- I look forward to the future with hope and enthusiasm.: false; I am fearful.
- I might as well give up, because there’s nothing I can do to make things better for myself.: false; I could run away and start a new life somewhere else.
- when things are going badly, I am helped by knowing that they can’t stay that way forever.: false; even if they were to get better, they would only grow worse all over again.
- I can’t imagine what my life would be like in ten years.: true; I’m struggling with more than ten weeks from now.
- I have enough time to accomplish the things I most want to do.: false; I feel overwhelmed, which causes a lack of productivity, which yields a sense of additional overwhelmation (can “overwhelm” be a noun?).
- in the future, I expect to success in what concerns me most.: false; I will never return to grad school, and I will never get published.
- my future seems dark to me.: true; it looks like hell.
- I happen to particularly lucky, and I expect to get more of the good things in life than the average person.: true; I am actually very lucky, all things considered.
- I just don’t get the breaks, and there’s no reason to believe that I will in the future.: true; conversely, I’m also very unlucky; things are rarely just “normal” for me.
- my past experiences have prepared me well for my future.: false; I have no idea how to be an adult or responsible without special treatment.
- all I can see ahead of me is unpleasantness, rather than pleasantness.: false; I expect some of both; though I predict more of the former.
- I don’t expect to get what I really want.: true; but largely because I don’t even know what that is anymore.
- when I look ahead to the future, I expect I will be happier than I am now.: false; I honestly dodoubt it.
- things just won’t work out the way I want them to.: true; though more accurately, things tend to not go as I prepared.
- I have great faith in the future.: false; I have faith in very little.
- I never get what I want, so it’s foolish to want anything.: true; though I think this more about ever being happy.
- it is very unlikely that I will get any real satisfaction in the future.: true; I will always be miserable, even with all my numerous blessings.
- the future seems vague and uncertain to me.: true; 100%.
- I can look forward to more good times than bad times.: false; not at all.
- there’s no use in really trying to get something I want, because I probably won’t get it.: false; I often get what I want — except peace.
scoring is one point per “negative” response (and these statements make it rather clear in which direction “negative” is, lol), though an actual key is provided to the staff member. scores 0 to 3 suggests no issues; 4 to 8 denotes mild hopelessness, but nothing alarming; 9 to 14 suggests moderate hopelessness, and the staff member is to recommend treatment; a score of over 15 suggests the individual is a suicide risk.
so let’s add me up: 1+0+1+1+1+1+1+0+1+1+0+1+1+1+0+1+1+1+1+0 = 15. okay, that’s disgustingly coincidental. I was hoping for a 13 or something. you know, something to suggest I hadn’t given up yet, but was close, lol.
and again, this is an slightly antiqued and incredibly over-simplified approach to determining one’s level of hopelessness.
besides, if we’re actually hopeless, we don’t need a test to tell us so. it’s something you feel in your core, deep into your bones.