Posted by: Jack Hope | Tuesday July 10, 2012

I Don’t Want to Miss Out Anymore

Dear Terry,

I got a wedding invitation today, to attend Angela’s wedding this September.  I’m overjoyed for her that she and her boyfriend are finally getting married. Although I’ve never met him I have heard many good things and I know that she has been very happy with him.  I am so happy for her.

And yet I have to turn down the invitation.

Angela’s wedding is in Germany (naturally, as that’s where she lives) and I am simply not in a position to travel there for her wedding.  A couple of years ago? Sure.  Now? Not so much, unfortunately.

Sending back a card and a nice present is the sensible thing to do and the best way to share in her happy day.

Except the thought of just doing that is completely heart wrenching.

During my time being sick I have missed out on two weddings and countless other special events that my friends have experienced.  Everyone has been incredibly forgiving and understanding about this, but there is not denying that there has been a lot of sadness both on my part and on the part of my friends.

I’m sure Angela understands that a lot of her friends from our part of the world are not going to be able to attend her wedding.  The logistics are challenging for everyone.

Still, Angela, despite the distance has always been one of the most reliable friends I have ever had. And I can’t help but think how wonderful it would be if I could be there in person.

My brain tells me that I should focus on the practical, on the here and now, that running off halfway across the planet for a couple of days.  My heart tells me that I should do everything I can to try to be there for her.

And for myself.

What good is living if I miss out on the good things in life? I’m so tired of missing out on my life, on missing out on the things that matter to myself and others. I missed Angela the last time she was here because I was sick, I haven’t seen her for years and now I’m going to have to miss one of the most important events in her life. It’s not fair.

As injustices around the world go, I know this is trivial. But in my own life, this just seems to stand out to me in stark relief as another one of the costs of this illness. It symbolizes what I’m fighting to get back and what I’ve lost thus far.

I don’t want to pay that cost again.

I don’t know yet what I’m going to do about it yet. I don’t know what I can do about it. I don’t know what’s possible. I just know that I’m tired of missing out on the things that are important to me and the people I care about.

So I am going to try to find a way to go. This may be the height of folly. But I feel like I have to make the attempt. For myself, for Angela, for the life that I want to live and that I’ve been fighting for.

I guess we’ll see what happens.

Love Always,




  1. Dear Jack,

    I hope you find a way to attend – it sounds as if this is something you really want to do. Practicalities such as finances (if they’re a problem) are easily fixed – I don’t say that lightly, I’m as poor as the proverbial, but if the overall cost isn’t TOO high it might be worth thinking about a loan from family or a friend if that’s possible. Although you’ll have the repayments to think about afterwards, the benefits to your emotional wellbeing – of the trip, the wedding, being with your friend for her special day, and most of all living life the way you want to and feeling like yourself again – could quite possibly exceed any expectations and prove well worth the financial cost. If you feel well enough, go for it. 🙂

    Love Dotty xxx

    • Hi Dotty and thanks very much for the comment and support. Obviously there are some significant practical hurdles to be surmounted and I’m going to investigate what my options may be. As for feeling well enough to go, if I’m fortunate enough to maintain my momentum then I should be emotionally well enough to attend.

      There’s a lot of ‘ifs’ in all of this but something inside me is telling me that I should pursue this. I’d be lying if I said my instincts haven’t led me astray sometimes (they have, sometimes disastrously so) but nonetheless, I am going to try. Maybe the most important thing in this is just that I make the attempt.

      Thanks for your support!

  2. I wish with all my heart you attend.

    Truthfully, I wrote this sentence a few times: “you feel well enough to attend”, and “you can attend” etc.

    Then I thought that’s not what I want to say.

    What I want to say is I have experienced magic when you clearly state your intention. State your intention, take 1 actionable step toward attending Jack, and watch the whole Universe conspire to get you there. Assistance may not come in a pretty bow–a lot of times I have found as many challenges as gifts. You’re on the right track if that’s the case. These challenges are solvable by you.

    That’s now woo woo. I am personally not a huge fan of the Universe or God or whatever. But I have found that the Universe doesn’t really seem to care.

    You know what else Jack–and it may sound corny–I believe in you. There’s no “but” in there and it’s not contingent on you going to this wedding.

    I know that because every time I read one of your posts, and you speak from your heart (especially to Terry), I resonate with it and I say “yes!” And if I can believe in you, I might just be one step closer to believing in me.


    • Wow, Trish, I don’t even know how to express how I feel about this comment. Thank you seems inadequate but there you have it.

      Like you, I’m not exactly a huge fan of the Universe and God. At a minimum, I’d say we’re not on speaking terms anymore.

      But I think faith does play an important part in this though: finding my faith in myself again.

      As I’m sure you know, going through experiences like this can feed a person’s self-doubt and destroy confidence and I have to say mine has been through the ringer. There have been days when I honestly thought the best thing that could be done for me would be to be institutionalized because I believed I’d lost all the capacity to even take care of myself, let alone pursue the things that I want.

      Even now there is a huge disconnect between what I want out of life versus what I believe I can achieve. And that’s not because my goals are all that terribly unreasonable either.

      This represents then, an opportunity to try to spread my wings and reach out for something more. As a symbol to it represents a lot of the things that matter the most to me, obviously my friends, but also the opportunity to travel, and also because I missed out on friends’ weddings because of my illness.

      I just hope that I can manage to find this belief in myself.

  3. I really hope you can go to this wedding . If you can manage the money and time I think it would do your self esteem and mental health the world of good to go . I did a course in cognitive behavioural therapy and one of the biggest things was that it is difficult to Change our thoughts but easier to change our actions . If you go you will feel good afterwards I’m really hoping you can go . I bet she has friends that can put you up for a few days

    • Thanks very much. I am actually getting a lot of really positive feedback on this idea (both online and in real life) and that’s making it feel both less crazy and a lot more plausible. It’s still at the ‘crazy notion’ stage but it’s moving in the right direction.

  4. I understand the pain you are going through, when you want something so badly and it seems impossible to work it out. I with all my heart hope there is some way you can attend the wedding,it not only will give you the peace you need but also give you the feeling of having some control over your illness. I know being mentally ill we tend to miss a lot of things and then dwell on the fact we missed out again.

    Do everything in your power to go to the wedding, you deserve to have some relief from the demons that haunt you. Nothing you feel is trivial, what you are going through is difficult as anyone else’s problem. Don’t minimize your feelings, they are important in every way. Hang in there and good luck with planning your visit, I wish you the very best.

    • Thanks very much for your support as well. It means a lot to me that you (and others) have been taking the time to share their thoughts with me.

      As I said earlier, this idea is rapidly moving away from ‘crazy notion’ to ‘plausible idea’ a lot more quickly than I had expected it to. I think this online support is a big part of that.

      • I don’t know where I’d be without my online support, they always seem to say the right thing, and always understand unlike some of the real people in my life.

      • Indeed. And with all due respect to those who use and like in person support groups, I found the ones that I tried were worse than useless. They seemed to be self-feeding mope fests. I can mope around on my own without needing a group to sustain me on that one. The online community seems more solution focused.

      • I hear that a lot, my therapist wants me to attend a group therapy group, thinks I would benefit. I think NOT. It’s a group of people with ADD and Bipolar, and addiction issues. I have never had a great experience with group therapy. Your so right about moping alone, who needs company?

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