We’re Not the Only Ones

hopeThe loneliness of depression often tricks us into believing that we’re facing something completely unique. That we’re out here alone and no one is trying to reach us, no one is trying to help.

It’s not true.

I once worked in the US Senate and my favorite part was getting the chance to sit down with patients and their advocates almost every day. Children with epilepsy, adults with debilitating psoriasis, families who’d lost a loved one to suicide. Cancer, chronic pain, paralysis, ALS. Almost all of them requested the same thing – more funding for medical research.

After a year or so I realized that almost all of them were asking for the same, most fundamental thing – hope. Many of them were asking not for themselves, but for their children. Many were asking not for their children, who were already gone, but for future generations of children – so that they might not suffer.

“You never know,” they often added, “what else we might discover while researching blindness.” You never know how close the next treatment might be. They came to Washington with the sense that they were not in this alone, that what was good for them would be good for others, would be good for the whole country. They came insisting that, if we cared, we could do something together, to help each other.

I think they were right.

Photo by US Army Africa on Flickr.

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