FINDING HOPE IN HOPELESSNESS
By Ann Finucane
Ann is a registered psychotherapist and counsellor with experience in managing anxiety, self-care, IBD, and domestic abuse having extensively worked in areas to do with the mind and true self so her clients can find meaning and purpose through their suffering towards empowerment.
This article will cover the real aspect of hopelessness. There is often a resistance when I talk to IBD clients about choosing to manage their physical and mental pain. The fact that psychological side effects are not realised in the news of the diagnosis, throws clients into an oblivion of brokenness, it creates a void and the dialogue of “I can’t believe my life will never be the same”.
Agonising stories of loss and hopelessness told in a mesh of painful emotions. This pain forms a self-belief of being powerless with no hope of coping in their future.
When we start to reflect on thinking or thought patterns it brings a valuation to the turmoil. Often it is the first time the pain is heard. I feel it is important to state in the therapy room, that we are honouring the pain, “I hear your pain”.
In this unique experience the client senses they have been fully heard and believed. “Nobody believes me” is an aspect of feeling hopeless. The self-doubt, and endless self-questioning, is the circle of self-abuse we unconsciously live in.
Part of the pain in hopelessness is the loss of a life that could have been without this disease/condition. Being allowed to mourn that lost expectation of life, brings an opening to look at reality differently. It is only in this acknowledgment that we can focus on a new way of living through choice.
It is often important to reflect and explore deeply at how behaviours are driven by thinking patterns. When we gain clarity around the reasons we behave in certain ways, it brings new insights.
The unconscious self-abuse I talk about is part of what drives us to inflict suffering on the self. IBD suffering is greatly affected by unhealthy behaviours where the body is abused. Eating food that the body struggles to digest. Unmanaged stress, broken sleep patterns all make for a painful existence.
Recognising these self-sabotaging behaviours in therapy gifts ownership and an opportunity to respond differently. Working in the now, having that ability to question “what do I need now?” really tuning into what serves me well.
In this space a renewed sense of control develops in being true to the self. There is tremendous strength and meaning when you make those links. A natural awakening emerges, bringing hope and strength to challenge self-destructive thinking and actions. In the therapy room we draw on comparisons of rewiring or reframing our thinking patterns to fully understand the process.
This new attitude encourages confidence to make different choices in honouring the pain through nurturing the body with natural goodness, while formulating an authentic care plan.
The hopelessness is replaced with hope when we understand that we have a choice and a certain power to manage our thinking and behaviours. The ultimate confirmation that we are not lost or hopeless is living in a pain free body and mind.
Making natural choices to feed an authentic life while nourishing the mind, body, and soul.