I technically began working on Grim Hope when I was 17 years old. It began when I was in a battle with my own depression and I was losing. Now, to clarify the version of Grim Hope that was posted to my blog, was not the original. No, the original story was about a young man who lost his battle with depression and ended his life. The concept and most of the storyline is the same, only the lead character themselves was changed.
When I originally wrote a Grim Hope I was just typing away, putting words to paper with little to no foresight into what I wanted the story to be about. In the original the story of the boy’s death was more tragic and rereading that made me realize what a dark place I was at that time. I remember writing the story and that as the events got more depressing I began to feel terrible for this character I created. I cried for him, I mourned for him. I realized I wanted the character to find hope. How would I do that for a character I had already killed off?
So I introduced Death or the Grim Reaper, not as a malevolent spirit, and not as an ambivalent guide to the afterlife. I created a Death that cared about my character’s emotions, and wanted to let the character know that their feelings were valid. Death cheered up my main character and it did make me feel better, but it also made me question what kind of message was this story going to be about. Was my message going to be ‘Oh you’ll find happiness in death at least.’ What kind of shit would that be?
Since I am not named Edgar Allen Poe, I decided that I would try to add real hope to the story. I had Death show the boy a life that made the boy could one day have. It wasn’t a “You’ll win the lottery and marry a supermodel” life, but more like “This day will be really cool to you one day, but you have to make it there.” Then at the end gave the boy the choice to go back and try to hind that happiness or venture into the unknown afterlife.”
That story saved my life on more than one occasion, and with everything that is going on lately, inside and out of politics I thought it was important to share that story with others who may have felt the same way I felt, years ago. I felt invisible, I felt angry and I felt depressed. I wanted to let people know that they weren’t alone. I wanted to use the opportunity I have and the happiness I have found in my life years later to let people know, “It really does get better.”
It doesn’t get better just because you become a certain age. It becomes better because you make an effort to be better, to work on your feelings, to work on society around you and learning to take of yourself. That’s doing self care, which isn’t always taking bubble baths and ordering pizza. It’s TRYING to do just do a thing you need to do that day (hygiene, eating something that is good for you, talking to friends and people you care about).
Thank you for reading my post! Please feel free to share this if you enjoyed it and follow me on all my social media. Also I will be posting Next Thursday and talking about my new work in progress for NaNoWriMo. If you are still reading this and you can please find out how you can get involved or donate to Lifeline or TransLifeline.