Tuesday, September 14, 2010

When to have Hope

I was reading a few pages of “Mans Search for Meaning” by Victor Frankl and came across a section about hope that I think helps. It basically says to me that a person should not give up in recovery even if they had relapsed. Victor says in his book “One day a fellow prisoner confided to him that a voice in a strange dream had promised to answer whatever question he wanted to ask. So he asked the voice to tell him when the camp would be liberated. The dream voice replied, March 30th. The man awakened from his dream absolutely thrilled and excited- March 30th was only a few weeks away. Under the torturous conditions in the camp, the man took the dream seriously, believing with all his heart that March 30th would bring salvation. But as the day approached and news reaching the prisoners remained discouraging the man took sick. On March 31st, after the deadline and no liberation, the man died. The physical cause of his death was listed as typhus." But Dr. Frankl believes it was the sudden loss of hope (the severe disappointment) which lowered the man’s resistance to infection. This experience- along with many others like it convinced Dr. Frankl that if you have nothing more to expect for life, you begin to lose life. I’ve wrote an earlier blog about Victor Frankl and his book. Also wrote about the State Hospital, which this story reminded me of. I had to go back to the State Hospital to interview for my unconditional release. I had to go to my old ward to meet the doctor. I see everyone still there and they tell me hi, like not a day had passed. Nothing had changed; even there you have to have hope. Two of them that told me hi that day are out. Although I wonder about where the others are sometimes.

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