Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Hope Is Paralyzing

I am the Warden!!

Before I begin, I want to make something perfectly clear. Looking at the title of today's post, you'd think I was about to get all dark and depressing, wouldn't you? Far from it. What you'll read today is actually my own inspiring tale of rising up to overcome oppression and the tribulations of life.

We have a little saying in my house: Hope is paralyzing. It's something my fiancee uses a lot and it's one I've come to agree with, though I've turned it into something a little more positive than her original version. As many of you know, we're going through a rough patch in many regards. The accident was just the catalyst sending it all into a spiraling black hole threatening to break us apart into nothing more than atoms in space. As the readership on this blog can be a bit scattered (some of you are friends, others are backers of my work, and a small percentage are random people stumbling onto this blog because you did a search on the Matrix and started clicking around from there), I'll give a little back story helpful to my overall point.

My fiancee has epilepsy. A rather severe form in that it's brought on by stress, plus some mild reactions to florescent lighting typical in many work places. Despite her best efforts, she has been unable to maintain any employment for any significant amount of time. When my accident happened, the stress of dealing with this compounded her condition and sent her into a near nervous breakdown - she's in her mid-20s. So the two of us are at home: while I'm yet physically unable to meet the demands of my previous occupation - press operator - and still overcoming certain cognitive issues and internal demons, she's been put on indefinite medical leave by her doctors in fear any additional stress could either induce a massive grand mal seizure capable of putting her in a coma or killing her. In the words of Albert Einstein, I shit you not.

As you can imagine, we could certain use a healthy dose of hope right about now. (Or any time within the past 18 months, actually.) But while this time has not exactly been a piece of cake, not all of it has been spent wallowing in tears and brooding over what could have been. Don't get me wrong, there are definitely days like that and one of them befell us recently, hence the reason for today's post. I'd say the majority of the time is spent holding each other up to stand and face whatever comes our way.

Every issue we face now involves other people. Decisions, actually. From the insurance company, various government agencies, representatives hired to act on behalf of either the insurance company or government agencies, and attorneys. Our lives currently exist in other people's hands and they hold any number of matters from money to future careers juggled between all the other decisions they have involving other people.

Now we come to the crux of it. Hope involves a reliance on other people or factors beyond your control (or a superior being, if you're religious). You hope someone will find your wallet. You hope to win the lottery. You hope no one will break into your car. You hope no one will make a left turn directly in front of you. And in our case, we hope someone will make the right decision to help us get back on track and get on with our lives.

See what I mean when I say hope is paralyzing? It does sound rather like a dreadful expression, but it's only the tip of my point. Why rely on other people?

OK, so that sounds even more dreadful, but it's something I firmly believe in. I don't have faith in other people as a whole doing the right thing. I trust certain individuals who have earned my trust to do the best they can to get something accomplished when it's needed and I would turn to those individuals in a heartbeat if I cannot get it done myself. But to put that trust in strangers or people whom I'm only aware of through names and faces or a phone number? Can't do it because history has not always been on their side.

It's what makes this current time in our recovery process so frustrating because we are dependent on hope and we don't trust to hope. We have to ask permission or assistance for everything we do and deal with someone's nagging doubts whenever we try and go our own way. Every action we undertake involves someone else's judgement. Even when I take the dogs for a walk, I can recall people telling me to take it easy or, even worse, wonder if the other insurance company has sent a private investigator to keep an eye on me and evaluate my health based on casual observation. I'm supposed to start retraining for a new career, but I can't just pick a course. I have to meet the approval of strangers and explain every reason why I should be allowed to take that course. My fiancee wants to start driving again and she has to explain to a doctor why should be allowed to drive. Think of it as being a celebrity except TMZ gets to pick the drug you'll be addicted to.

In times like these, we feel like convicts in our own house. Hope is paralyzing.

Now would be a really good time to explain why this is a motivational speech, right? Consider it done. It's why I refuse to rely on hope and the actions of others. Sure, there are times when there's no going around it and you have to wait for others to step in and do what needs doing, such as relying on strangers to notice your upcoming RPG and buy it to make the game successful. However, hope does not build the game. I do. And if the game doesn't take off and I lose money, it'll be because of my actions and decisions, not someone else's. I can live with that. And after all this waiting, I'm eager to see what happens, pass or fail.

In times like these, when everything around us seems to press the pause button on the worst part of a movie, we turn to each other for support and ideas. What else is there we can do ourselves? What's our back-up plan if and when that other person rejects our request? Do we even need to bother in the first place? Personally, I don't give a rat's ass anymore about the concerns of others save those whom I trust and believe in. For far too long, I've clung to hope bringing all the pieces into place so that I can become something more than what I was and it got me nowhere.

Hope is paralyzing. So fuck hope. I'm too busy picking myself up to wait for it.


  1. Hmm...I'm not sure I agree completely with what you said in your blog. I do agree that you have to make things happen as best you can. Yes, hoping alone is not enough, but if you have no hope where's your motivation? If you don’t believe you can do something, if you have no hope in the outcome why waste your time? If you didn’t hope that your RPG would do well, or even meet your expectations of how it should turn out, why bother putting the effort into it? Hope is paralyzing? I disagree. Yes, if all you do is hope but never act toward fulfilling that hope it can be less than useful: you can sit there hoping you'll win the lottery even though you never actually buy a ticket. If all you do is hope and nothing else, you’re kind of missing the purpose of it. I would say that hope is the catalyst that drives you forward.

  2. An understandable point and the last thing I want is to get into a theoretical debate on the meaning of hope. It's a personal belief. For me, hope is something outside of your control and such matters are not my concern. I can only do things in which I can provide input, control, and decisions. For my RPG, I do want it to do well, but hoping it will do well is pointless. To give it the best opportunity, I need to put together a comprehensive, versatile, and enjoyable game by investing time and energy using my skills and abilities. Once it leaves my hands, there's nothing more I can do and it's time to start work on the next project.

    A successful outcome is reward for a job well done. As for why it's done in the first place, it's simple. I CAN'T STOP IT!! It's an obsession which can never be sated. Like I said, it's what work for me.