Lesson 3 Section 1
It's probably obvious that I think you have something to look forward to because I wouldn’t create this course without faith in your ability to overcome, recover, and grow.
All of the possible paths forward can start from this one belief: there is at least a small chance that you can have a positive future.
No therapy or medicine or guru or book can help if you don’t believe that a positive future is possible for you.
In my opinion, you don’t need cheery and optimistic assurance that things will get better. This is just an honest and realistic perspective that is possible for things to get better and possible is enough reason to try.
“A thought, even a possibility, can shatter and transform us.”
- Friedrich Nietzsche
Can you have a positive future?
This short 'virtual interview' is based on an exercise that I use when things look dark and it’s hard to see them changing. I hope you'll try it out.
Resources for Perspective
Please don’t give up on you. There are a lot of things that seem impossible, that actually end up being possible.
Can someone who lost her hearing win a competition with a musical performance?
Can someone play sports at championship levels after losing their legs?
Some of the things that you see or use everyday were once thought of as impossible.
“In this moment, there is plenty of time.
In this moment, you are precisely as you should be.
In this moment, there is infinite possibility.”
- Victoria Moran
Why have future perspective? (Click the sections below to open more information)
It's my experience that pain is bearable when you know it’s going to stop.
Total hopelessness is the belief that there is absolutely 0% chance of things getting better, and it is the most dangerous belief I know.
If I’m able to crack that just a little bit then everything else enters the realm of possibilities. I can see the world as a very dark place sometimes, but it's not an absolute and complete darkness without even a glimmer of light. It makes a difference.
Both early theory, and recent research on suicidal thinking have highlighted "constriction" or "entrapment" as a major factor. This is the perception that there is absolutely no alternative, and it can lead to suicidal thinking. On the opposite side of this, there are buffers against suicide that include concepts like planning for the future.
Having a perspective that allows for the presence of doubt and darkness while emphasizing the possibility of a future is consistent with the approach in the Policy for Helping Callers at Imminent Risk of Suicide used by the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (see here).
My main goal here is to focus on that positive side, even if it is weak at the moment. I want to be on the life-affirming side of any ambivalence you have about suicide. The resources here were selected as inspirational examples of overcoming trauma and proving that we can't say with certainty that something is impossible.