November 8, 2009

Hope still last resort of the hopeless

There's always hope, when all else fails, but it turns out that hope will make you miserable.

A US study has found that chronically ill people who are told that they should suck-it-up, because this is as good as it gets, adjusted to their permanently hopeless state and were quite happy six months later. They got on with things.

By contrast, chronically ill people who are told they they would get better clung with miserable desperation to their pitiful pocket of hope and were not happy for it. Six months later they were still sacrificing happy-days for living in hope. They didn't get on with things.

Offering hope might not be the best medicine.


  1. Yes, we have a friend with terminal pancreatic cancer. Now that he knows that there's no hope, he's just enjoying every moment he has left... Pretty sad stuff though.

  2. Not a *good* one to have either L.E (although it worked nicely for Mal Colston(?), but he was a walking medical miracle; funny how that turned out).

    I've recently been feeling almost perky, most days, not despite of, but because of, having had a rather bad year, all things considered - and the year's not even over yet.

    Thing is, the culmination of sad and deeply disturbing events has left me with not much hope to cling to - you know, like "hoping" things will get better any day now. They didn't. They got a whole heap worse. So, the burden of hope has ... been lifted, possibly even against my will? Oddly freeing.

    Very sorry to hear about your friend. I understand, as do many of my devoted (err, or is that deranged?)and dear readers here, exactly what that's like. This year in particular, so many deaths, so much sadness, so many lives lost all too soon. Pain and grief everywhere, from the start of the year, and still the shocks keep coming.

    I'm glad he is finding a way to thrive and live in the moment.

    In the end, it's the best that any of us can do. It's a hell of a hard lesson to learn though.