On the future of Hopeworks Community 

I have been writing this post for a month.   I have no idea what number draft this is.  A couple of months ago I walked away from mental health advocacy,  the csx community,   whatever term you would like to call it.   It came after a lot of soul searching and with massive regrets.   It  was no body’s fault in particular.   If anybody probably mine more than anybody else’s.   I just lost faith.   I didn’t see where a difference was being made and the honest truth was I was no longer sure a difference would  be made.   It seemed to me that we had a lot of urgency tied up in disputes with each other,  a lot of turf battles,  a lot of resentments.   I thought we had a lot of personalities but not much in the way of leadership.   If we couldn’t agreed with each other I just didn’t see any way we could get anyone to agree with us.   What united us never seemed important enough to put what divided us in second place. 

I  really put my soul into opposing the Murphy Bill.   I am by no stretch the only one who did and my voice was certainly no more important than anyone else but for a long time it was important as anything else I thought to talk about.   I  thought the voices of lots of people made a difference. 

Like many I was shocked by the last vote in the House.  I think it made me really consider a lot about the capacity of this movement as it is to have anywhere close to the impact I hoped it would.   Even after the defeat I  don’t think we could really decide what we were for.   For me it was a horrible reality.   I  began to wonder if any of the conversations so important to me carried any hope for helping to make the changes I hoped more likely. 

For me so much was way personal and probably it shouldn’t have been.   The first week in August was the anniversary of my nephews suicide.   He walked out one night and laid down in front of a train.   I wondered if we got a second chance and he was still alive if anything had happened that might make it more likely that he would survive and I  just wasn’t sure it had.   I know a lot of very good,  very ordinary people who have to work so hard to make anything good happen for them.   Many of them are hurt as much by the system that helps as they are by the hurts.   For some they are the same thing. 

Psychiatry isn’t going away.   The mental health system is not disappearing.   There has to be a better way to do mental health.   Do no harm should not be that hard. I  do not believe it impossible. 

I  think  we were good at criticizing,  good at complaining.   Some of our moral outrage seems well placed to me.   We are not good at change.   I don’t know anymore how much better stuff we make more likely. 

My perspective on much is probably screwed up.   Perhaps I am mistaken in important ways.   In many ways I hope so.   But I still remember the day I woke up and asked myself if I still wanted to do this.   I  finally decided I  might want to but I was no longer sure I could.   So I wrote my goodbyes. 

The leaving will be painful,  probably for a  long time.   I did not realize how much of this blog was tied up in it but it was a lot.   My rate of posting has went dramatically down.   A couple of people have asked if Hopeworks Community is dying.   

I  guess that is the biggest reason for this post.   It is not.   It may in some ways be different but all that is yet to be decided.   Health reform in Tennessee faces tremendous obstacles this year and I am sure this blog will hear a lot about that. 

I  have become very involved in the presidential election this year.   I can think of few things more important in my view than Donald Trump not being president.   I have become a lot more active on Facebook in trying to share why.   This blog doesn’t seem to me to be an appropriate place to focus on that.   If you follow me on Facebook at all you have been flooded with why I think what I think. 

To be honest I am glad to be captured by the election.   I behave lived through 10 presidents and never seen anything like Trump.   It has been a good and meaningful place to put my energy. 

Life is way past hard for me right now and I am not sure I am a good advertisement for much anymore.   I will continue to write about life but my hope is to try to be helpful to myself as much as it is to help anyone else to be honest.    At least until the election is over my pace on this blog will slow up a lot.   Your patience is a gift I am grateful for. 

I  dont know yet if I can or if I want to go back to much of the stuff that was so important to this blog.   Some of my criticisms have become much more pointed.   Some people are easily offended and part of me wonders how welcome I might be. 

This blog has been an important part of me for a  long time now and I owe more than I can ever explain to those that have read it.   It is not dead,  not even dying.   Changes are probably ahead and I hope this will be a space you find some value in visiting. 

You matter and you have mattered to me more than I can ever express. 




3 thoughts on “On the future of Hopeworks Community ”

  1. Larry, I always appreciate your honest and heartfelt writing. And on this particular blog I agree with you 100 percent about the psych survivors movement. There is lots of posturing and personal attacks, but almost no leadership. You don’t mention it, but one of the other many problems is allowing the mental health system that we should be fighting to buy up a lot of our people, and create a situation where we have no credibility with the public. That was the reason for the 422 to 2 vote for the Murphy bill.

    Anyway, I will continue to keep reading whatever you write, and I hope also that your own life goes along better than it apparently has. You are a good man.

  2. Dear Larry,

    Reading this post breaks my heart for you, because I can relate to your feelings only too well. I have gone in and out of the darkness you describe so well — more times than make sense, given the fact that I am still blogging and advocating. I’m sure I have at least two drafts of “I’m too discouraged to do this anymore” posts waiting for me to bite the bullet and publish.

    As things seem to be getting worse rather than better, I realize that I’m truly exhausted from 25 years of mental health advocacy – with very little ROI.

    ==>I am not proud of the direction the coaching field is headed – the field I gave up most of the things that most people consider life’s basic to found and develop.
    ==>I am embarrassed for psychology, given how ill-informed so many practitioners have turned out to be, based on that demon “anecdotal report” I hear far too many times.
    ==>The people tasked with legislating pain medication seem to know next to nothing about pain management.
    ==>The DEA is more concerned with their anti-addiction efforts and “the war on drugs” than mental health and pain-management medication, and far too many individuals are suffering as a result.
    ==>The AMA could help with advocacy efforts, but it seems to have become part of the problem.

    I have taken a break several times, for various reasons. While I can’t exactly say I returned refreshed, I returned. Take as long as you need, and don’t be afraid to return to advocacy writing – even from time to time.

    My heart goes out to you. Much will be missed.
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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