Hope is the most important feeling one can have. Hope that your children will grow up to be happy. Hope that your depression doesn’t stick around much longer. Hope that your marriage remains healthy and strong.
For me, I have hope that I will be employed soon. Hope that I will eventually meet my soulmate and we will have a happy life together.
When I was assessing clients who were suicidal, there were a few that I saw that had no hope and those were the ones I really worried about. I can remember one teen who was in high school. She moved out of her parents house and lived with her boyfriend for awhile. She and her boyfriend eventually broke up and so she moved back in with her mom. Her dad had just recently passed away to add to her depression. Since she was living on her own, she worked and paid for her cell phone. Back at her mom’s, one night, they had a fight and the mom’s boyfriend threw her phone and broke it. When I walked into the hospital room to talk to the teen, I could tell that not only was she sad, she felt hopeless. I saw it in her eyes. I was scared for her. I found her a place to go for inpatient therapy and I hope she is doing better today.
“Strength isn’t just about how much you can handle before you break. Sometimes it’s about how much you can keep handling after you are broken.” (I read this quote somewhere recently and I just googled it to try to figure out where and I couldn’t find the source…love the quote).
Another teen and this one attempted suicide by taking a ton of pills the night before. The teens I saw really pulled at my heart because it saddened me to see them so young to be struggling and wanting to give up on life.
When I got to the hospital, the case manager let me know before I entered the room that the teen had disclosed to her that he doesn’t want to go to his mom’s house anymore. He said when he goes to his mom’s; sometimes he has been forced to watch his mom having sex with her boyfriend. He also disclosed that there had been a few times when his mom shoved his head in the toilet as punishment.
I walked into the teen’s hospital room and he was alone. He was definitely sad. I asked how things were going at his moms and he wouldn’t open up to me. He just said “it’s ok.” When I asked how things were going at his dad’s, he said “it gets lonely sometimes because I’m all by myself a lot.” I asked if anything had happened at his dad’s or mom’s that he wanted to talk about and he said no.
So this is a red flag, I don’t blame the teen for not wanting to open up to a complete stranger. Yet, my gut said something it also probably going on at the dad’s house and he didn’t want to talk about it. I let the teen know that maybe it would be good to go somewhere for a few days and asked if he had any family we could call. He said that would probably be a good idea and he mentioned a sister.
I called that sister but she felt like another sister would be a better choice. I called the other sister and she lived out of town. She was older with kids of her own who were also almost teenagers. She said: “I’ve been waiting for this call…I knew he was unhappy and my dad is just clueless…he’s not the father figure a teen boy should have.”
I let the doctor know my thoughts and at first the doctor thought maybe the teen should just go somewhere for inpatient treatment. I let her know though, if we do that, he will than go back to his home life that is obviously not healthy at all. I said we now have the chance to change this boy’s life…I said: “I think it’s now or never.”
My shift was over so I let my coworker know about the teen. I don’t know all the legal jargon of what happened, but basically, he had an emergency court hearing so the judge could hear what was going on. The judge granted his older sister custody and so the teen no longer had to live in the same town as his mother or father. Man, I just smile again thinking about that again…Like I said, I had to go with my gut and my gut said this teen needed a new life and he got one. =)