When Happiness Isn’t a Choice


P6160020American poet T. S. Eliot wrote:

I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope, for hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love, for love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith, but the faith and the love are all in the waiting. Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought: So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.

I thought about that quote this weekend.

A woman posted a comment about hope in the depression support group, Group Beyond Blue, in which I participate. She said that her therapist told her that hope is more of a cognitive process than an emotion, that we can make a conscious effort to develop hope.

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Therese Borchard
I am a writer and chaplain trying to live a simple life in Annapolis, Maryland.

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5 Responses
  1. Popsie

    Therese, you really do have talent, in case you didn’t know this already, I love this piece of writing – it is very important what you have to say and I am going to share with my friend who is starting cbt soon – she has treatment resistant depression and has been suffering so badly for too long – her doc seems to think the cbt is going to be the answer – I am giving cbt it’s due but somehow I just don’t see how 8-10 sessions of cbt are going to magically turn things around for my friend – she is so down – her symptoms are a lot like yours actually – we have read your book beyond blue and I follow your articles and posts – she is not feeling optimistic about the cbt (she is kind of been there done that ) but of xourse she is depressed after all so her outlook is not likely to be hopeful or poison after all.
    Anyway, great article, great writing, loved the swming in the bay analogy and keeping your head down and keep swimming – such a good visual – thanks for your insights and sharing your pain – warm wishes

    1. Thank you, Popsie. I very much appreciate your kind feedback. I really do hope the CBT an ease the pain of your friend. I do think it’s helpful. But if it’s not the caveat or miracle she was looking for, please tell her not to give up. It’s possible to live a full life even with difficult symptoms. She’s in my prayers.

  2. A ‘friend’ on facebook posted an article the other day ‘You Don’t Have the Balls to be Happy’. If she were in my loungeroom at the time she’d have been ball-less and ripped a new one.