I have an app which serves up posts I wrote on Facebook on the same date in previous years (Timehop). It can be amusing and at times cringe-worthy to see what I wrote in years past. Yesterday, it showed me a post I had written four years ago, Sept 13th, 2010: “Wondering if there’s ever going to be an end to this, truly. I want my life back.”
I shook my head when I saw this. This was one month after the assault and just two weeks into the criminal investigation. Two weeks! I’m so grateful that 2010 me didn’t know that it would be another three and a half years before all was said and done. I would have crumbled into a heap and cried uncle.
What got me through that year, and the next, and the next, was an unwavering and perhaps unrealistic optimism. I always believed that it would all end soon. I held onto a vision of what my life would be like in the after, and I believed this new life was just around the corner.
I’ve done a lot of reading on the psychology of trauma in the past couple of years and one thing I know is this. Of all the things that promote resilience and healing, perhaps the most important is hope. It can help heal mind, body and soul.
Today I came across something called Project Hope Exchange. It’s an interesting project that allows people to either leave or listen to a 30-second message of hope. Curious, I clicked through to the website to learn more.
Once you are on the website, you can choose to either Get Help or Give Help. If you are experiencing a life challenge, you can scroll through their directory and find audio links to a number of short messages of hope left by others who have gone through something similar. Categories include depression, cancer, OCD, domestic violence, addiction, grief & loss, and many others.
If you want to give help, you can call their toll-free number and leave a short message of hope for someone else.
I decided to call in and leave a message myself. I was nervous about the 30-second limit, so I wrote out my message and practiced it several times, editing it to keep within the allotted time. When I called in, it took me three tries before I had a message that I was happy with. In the end, it probably took me half an hour to leave a 30-second message, but it felt good to have done so.
I’m sharing the site here because I know so many of you have gone through difficulties and have wisdom to offer someone else. I also know that some of you may need an infusion of hope yourself.
If you’d like to leave your own message of hope, or listen to someone else’s, you can find their website here. If you do leave a message, let me know. I'd love to go listen to it once it's up on the site.