Prone to Hope Turns Five


Today this blog hits its fifth anniversary with 143 posts.


Is this a milestone to celebrate? Hmmm. No. But it is a worth acknowledging. I’ve grown a lot in how to handle Anxiety since Prone to Hope began. I am much better than when I wrote the first post, which was literally about me running away from stressors while experiencing a panic attack. It has also shared my physical and emotional pain of Depression and Anxiety, including feeling, figuratively, as if I had breathed in a heavy and haunted gas. The blog has also recounted the joy of escaping Depression. I’ve also broadcasted the fact that I like the current me less than other iterations of Michael, all as a result of going through one of my several bouts with the trauma induced by having another run in with Depression and/or Anxiety, On the flip side, I’ve also shared how 2019 was the best year of my life.

There are days I’ve considered ending this blog and taking it down from the internet. I’ve, at times, been embarrassed that I’ve shared too much of my feelings … feelings I know that millions of others face just like me. “Hey world, look at me! Look at me and my raw emotional and physical pain!” And then, just as I was about to take it all down, a friend or acquaintance shared with me that my open dairy helped them deal with their mental health difficulties.

So, Prone to Hope hits an anniversary. And, at least for another batch of time, I’ll keep on writing. Truth be told, it only feels fitting to commit for at least awhile more. These days are tough ones. Not just for me, but for many in the world, as we adjust to COVID-19, social-distancing, isolation, and tough economic times. I don’t doubt this major world crisis is going to make millions of people experience situational Depression or Anxiety. My chronic bouts with these mood disorders could be resurrected for the same reasons. Or, what if my current med cocktail stops working, as drugs have done in the past? (These are two things I fear regularly.)

But let’s hope not. Because right now, Michael Dahl is doing pretty well.

Sure, I hate that my meds tamp down my emotions as well as my reactions to situations that may warrant a quicker and more vigorous response. I also hate that at times I look as drugged up as I actually am.

But let’s end this anniversary-marking post by noting that I am prone to hope. I will continue growing in learning how to handle my Anxiety. I will, using techniques taught to me by my therapist, either salvage or intentionally throw away difficult days (e.g. some days you just need to call in sick to work). And I will continue to try and be my best self, whatever that is and looks like on any particular day.

Onward, friends. Onward.

(The picture attached to this post is of me eating passion fruit while vacationing in Maui and slowly emerging from my most recent bout with Depression. For that, I love this pic. I also think it’s hilarious I’m eating passion fruit considering the circumstances, to state the obvious.)



  1. Tom S. 29 March 2020 at 8:23 am

    Just a thought. You’ve hear the phrase a lot lately, “we’re all in this together.” What if you adopted that thought for this blog and substitute the words “We” or “We’ve” for the words “I” or “I’ve”?

    Maybe it’s just me, but I hate it when the politicians brag about all they’ve done, and don’t give credit to the team. Too much “I” and not enough “We”.

    • Michael Dahl 29 March 2020 at 8:40 am

      I’m not sure I understand, Tom. Where would you suggest I change the pronouns? I am truly curious.

      • Tom S. 29 March 2020 at 8:58 am

        You are a kind, generous and loving person, and this blog is for others as well as yourself. As someone whom I respect told me about ministering to others, “it’s not about us, it’s about them”. Michael, does that make sense?

  2. Tom Sampson 29 March 2020 at 8:47 am

    One more thought. Something that has helped me and many others over the years is the 12 Steps of EA (Emotions Anonymous) or Alanon. These programs teach us to believe in a Higher Power. Right now I’m reading Karen Armstrong’s book “The History of God”. Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus all believe in a Higher Power. Why try to go it alone when we can ask the Higher Power/God for love, peace, joy, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, generosity, and self-control?


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