Help for Healing

Bitter & Sweet, living daily with grief



As usual, on blog days I often feel like my mind is blank. It’s not that I don’t have things to say, but rather that I get tired of my own story and assume everyone else must be tired of it as well. Last night, my friend said, “Write about hope.”

Not an easy assignment when that is often the last thing I feel. So maybe I can be a smart ass about it and come up with some sort of clever acronym for something else?

H. The first thing that comes to mind? Hell. Oh, that’s not good. After wracking my brain, I think a hopeful person would have come up with happiness. I guess I can say with integrity that I hope to be happy someday. Rather than rare, fleeting moments of laughter, I do hope that someday, “happy” will be something I can feel a majority of the time. Dare I say that right now, though, hell is more descriptive?

O. Optimism is the word that jumps to mind. I used to be called the Eternal Optimist. No matter what happened, I would get back on the horse again. I would never quit trying. Now, it’s more like I just have the urge to kick the horse and curse at it. Not so nice or admirable.

P. Pissed off. Now that one I can identify with. I still hold tight to the concept that I might be going through menopause. I have no hot flashes and no blood tests to support my theory whatsoever. But when I sit around with a bunch of women, they all say things like, “Yep, that sounds like menopause.” How else do you explain why “The One Who Never Gives Up” has become “Stop Pissing Me Off Before I Go Postal?”

E. Excited. Energy. Elated. Encouraged. Again, all words that I can no longer relate to. If there is a word that is the antithesis of every one of those words, that would be me. EXHAUSTION… yes, that is the E word for me.

If my friend reads this, he will probably want to clock me for taking his idea and dripping it in sarcasm.

But then, what is hope?

I guess when I think about it, I have to distinguish between hope and faith. They are closely linked, I know. And I am quite sure they affect each other. And I am quite sure it would be a good idea to possess a healthy amount of both.

Faith I see as more of the belief that these things will actually come to me. I just need to be patient and endure, and know that it is only a matter of time. That is where I am lacking. I am not confident in any way that I will regain happiness, optimism, and the energy I used to exude. I just don’t see it happening.

But hope? I have to admit, in spite of my own pessimism, I hope to God for all of those things. I hope every day that something will change. That I will regain my confidence and strength. Even though it is hard to get up every day, I still do it. Sometimes I spend a lot of time in my bed, but eventually I am up and functioning. I must have hope, right? In spite of depression, in spite of anxiety, in spite of exhaustion, I get up every day and keep trying. God help me if I ever truly give up hope.

And by the way, thanks for continuing to read… even when I’m dripping in menopausal, faithless moods. YOU are faithful!

Author: Help for Healing

My name is Darcy Thiel. What people say they appreciate most about me is my genuine nature. I utilize my professional and personal experiences to increase my understanding and compassion to help others. My career has many faces, so let me tell you about a few. I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in NY State and am a couple and family therapist. As an Adult Planning Specialist and End of Life Doula, I take my experiences with my parents’ and husband's illnesses and passing to help others navigate the crazy, complicated medical world we live in. This dovetails with the books I have written. Bitter and Sweet: A Family’s Journey with Cancer, the prequel to Life After Death, on This Side of Heaven is an honest and raw perspective on coping with the diagnosis and subsequent loss of Tim, my spouse. I have done extensive speaking on the above topics through live audiences, radio shows, and an occasional TV spot. For more information, see my websites at,, or Copyright Help for Healing by Darcy Thiel © 2012-2019. All rights reserved.

8 thoughts on “H.O.P.E.

  1. Loved this post. Your personality shined through.

  2. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Ha Ha 🙂

  3. ♡ you! 😚

  4. So from what I can see is that you are at both ends of the spectrum when it comes to each one of the letters of the acronym for hope Darcy. Is it possible for you to find a place in “the middle” of all of this and at least start from there? I would think your journey would be a bit easier if you were starting at the middle of life’s mountain.

    • Another thought provoking comment… I am always struggling to be balanced “in the middle” with almost everything, because I am such a Type A personality with a bit too much passion for my own good. But being aware of that, I strive to find it when I can. So in practical terms, what do you think it would look like if I were in the middle of the mountain?

      • I would think you could continue to climb the mountain but then you are faced with challenges and obstacles that can be exhausting and at times depressing. Or you could enjoy the view from where you are and create a new comfortable home with the ability to see even more beautiful things because you are half way between the mountaintop and the valley below. You have an ability from where you stand to see where you have come. That can be an amazing perspective. Why waste your energy and time trying to reach the top because it is generally true that the grass is not greener on the other side and in this case on the other side of the mountain. I think you will find that it won’t live up to your expectations and what you already have and who you already are can’t really be beat. If you continue to climb the mountain just make sure you have the proper gear to reach the top. Best of luck on your journey!!

      • But Sharpster isn’t the valley below that you’re speaking of similar to going backwards? I don’t think that Darcy’s of the age that shes completely satisfied at this point of her life as her blogs reflect. She seems like a fighter, as most of us single moms are, and too quit life’s climb at this part of her life seems much too early don’t you think? Be strong for Frankie, I have a friend that is a single mom with a 13 year old boy so I know what you’re going through. Just keep trying to find common ground with him and he’ll come around

      • Hi Morgansmiles: I don’t think Darcy should head back down the mountain to the valley and give up the fight because then she would be going backwards. But instead stop where she is and take a breather. She can take a look down to the valley and see how far she has traveled. I think she is a lot farther ahead than she may realize. She will hopefully find strength in knowing how far she has actually come especially on days that are bad for her. Sometimes, when you are in the middle of it you don’t see how you are really doing. She may be exhausted from the climb and need a break. You don’t ever give up fighting at any age but a mother of two boys myself they can suck the energy completely out of you on a good day and I have a spouse to share in it. So I can only imagine both you and Darcy’s climb as single moms. We all need to rest every once in a while to re-energize. Someday, she may decide to continue up the mountain but I also think that it is okay to give yourself a break along the way and realize how far you have come and how strong you really are. All the best to you Morngansmiles33 and of course to you, Darcy!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s