In the United States, the richest country in the world, every measure of mental health is plummeting. And have been before the pandemic. In a recent survey CDC entitled, "Mental Health, Substance Use, and Suicidal Ideation During the COVID-19 Pandemic" a full 10 percent of the U.S. population had seriously considered suicide in the month of June. For 18-24 year olds that number was 25. And 69.9% of 18-24 reported suffering from depressive or anxiety disorders.
When I get your email (I'm subscribed to your list), I usually click the link, listen and enjoy to the content inside, possibly reflect on it for a few minutes, and then delete the email.
This one I'm saving to read again when I need it.
I like this a lot. I'm having trouble saying anything that isn't just restating the essay, but yeah! Right on. The world may not be saved by an incremental step towards the good, but it'll be one step better off than it was before.
Mr. McLean, as always - good words, right order. Thank You.
Your essay on hope is a solid bit of writing but I do have a quibble. You attribute the poem "Hope is the thing with feathers" to the wrong author. For me this besmirches your otherwise excellent piece of writing.
For the past thirty years or so I told myself that if I ever faced a debilitating, probably terminal, health situation, if I could no longer take care of myself, if my brain was starting to fail, I would take the Death with Dignity route rather than suffer through it all—only to postpone the inevitable a few years/months/weeks.
Then I was diagnosed with stage 4 throat cancer. Okay, how did I feel about ending my life now that the big test was here? Ummmm...
I decided not to do the irreversible thing. At least not yet. I decided to give treatment a shot and see what happens. No doubt there was some hope in there.
Treatment wasn't the first, small, easy step. But, like I said, it wasn't the irreversible one. And here I am, alive, happy, and in better health than I had been in a long time. Hope is good.
This is my first encounter with your writing and it was really, really powerful for me. A friend sent it because he knew I needed to hear it. I have read it over and over and still letting it sink in. I have been hopeless for quite a while and this makes so much sense to me. The words are powerful. I especially liked the part about Anger, Courage, Increment and Perseverance. It's easy to get into an all-or-nothing mindset (one of my habits) and think that little things won't help. It's easy to be angry without thinking about having a choice to not be angry. Courage is so important, we need to feel it every day and Perseverance is really the key to change, I think. Thank you so much for writing this commentary.
Hey there, I needed to hear this today. Thanks for all the quotes from others, and for your own personal story.
I had heard the "hope is a thing with feathers" line but had never taken the time to read the entire poem.
Good stuff. Glad you continue to find other options and still have hope in your heart. My dad died of cancer. I miss him so much. Don’t ever kill yourself. That is a waste.
This is so powerful. Thank you for this