Last modified 12 March 2016 by Michael Dahl

about “prone to hope”

Prone to Hope is just one person’s experience living with Anxiety and Depression. I am only an expert at my own life; and I know that my experiences may be quite different than others who live with these mood disorders. That said, I share my experience for a few reasons:

  1. Writing about my Anxiety and Depression is therapeutic to me. And, writing about my Anxiety while I am experiencing it is turbo therapeutic at helping me get through the panic.
  2. One of the worst feelings when you are experiencing Anxiety and / or Depression is that you feel so alone, so isolated. You even convince yourself that no one understands or even wants to know what you are going through. I share my experience because I’ve been told that my sharing has helped others not feel so alone and isolated.
  3. I want to fight the stigma attached to mental illnesses. Some people still have backward thoughts about people who suffer from mood disorders. Some think of us as weak; but it takes incredible strength to live with a mental illness. Some think of us as people who can’t contribute to the rest of society. There may be times when it’s hard to contribute; but it doesn’t mean we don’t try and often succeed despite the odds against us.
  4. I want people who don’t suffer from Anxiety and Depression to know at least one perspective about what it’s like. Also, I’ve been told that my writing has helped others who have friends, family, and / or colleagues who suffer from Anxiety and / or Depression understand what is still an issue closeted in some segments of society.

Why the title “Prone to Hope?”

Prone has at least a couple different meanings, as does hope. For me, those multiple meanings are actually helpful in understanding me (and perhaps others) as full human beings.

About me: I’m lucky; it is my tendency to be hopeful. In fact, during the spring / summer of 2015, when I was in the depths of Depression and Anxiety, I still described myself as the world’s most hopeful depressed and anxious guy. I was convinced I could crawl back to normal. And I remained hopeful about many of the things I believed in. (That’s not to say I wouldn’t lose hope once in awhile, especially about how I was being perceived by those around me.) But hope usually returned.

Now, “prone” has a couple meanings that are helpful regarding a blog about living with Depression and Anxiety. I’ve already shared the first meaning: having an inclination to do something (for me, being hopeful). The second meaning: lying flat, especially face downward. Friends, that’s a pretty good description of two or three months of my personal life last summer as I was trying to find the right meds to help me through my Depression and Anxiety.

Hope is also a complex word. I am inclined to think of it as an active verb. In other words, believing in something and then striving for it. For example, “I’m going to win my battle with Depression and Anxiety,” or “I believe we can end homelessness, and I am going to do something about it. “Hope” can also be passive. I think of “I hope I win the lottery” type of “hope” that is really just wishful thinking with no basis in reality or meaningful action.  I have no use for that type of “hope.”