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1) a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.

2) a feeling of trust.

Much of addiction recovery concentrates on the important noun defined above. In many ways, it is the driving force behind a person’s continued effort to work a program of recovery, the belief that if one’s stays the course—life will in fact get better. Sometimes in your darkest hours, hope is all one has on which to cling. Any man or woman who has lifted themselves up from the depths of despair, knows first-hand that early recovery is not always the smoothest of sailing.

For the first time in years, one is forced to face the realities of life. No longer able to dull or blunt the feelings that arise with drugs and/or alcohol, one is forced to push forward, sometimes on nothing more than the instructive words of others who have come before them in the program. When every cell in your body is crying out for relief by way of substance use, you must brush such urges aside—telling yourself that this too, will pass. Nothing is permanent.

We know that it is easier said than done, and one’s ability to eschew the desire to use rests heavily on the foundation that is laid in early recovery. Just as it is the case with building a house. If the foundation is shaky or built upon sand as opposed to bedrock, at some point in the future (sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly) one’s program is likely to crumble.

Hoping to Change

If what you hope to achieve through working a program is ever to come to fruition, one must have faith in the program and have complete trust and confidence in the people who have managed to achieve long-term sobriety. “The program works if you work it” may seem like a trite platitude when you hear it the third or three-hundredth time. But rest assured, it doesn’t make it any less true. There are people who have started down the path of recovery, only to drift away. Stating that the program(s) didn’t work for them.

Without attempting to take such peoples’ inventory, there is a high likelihood that the aforementioned individuals did not follow the directions of other members in the program. Still powered by self-will alone. How quickly one forgets where their best intentions, and best thinking brought them. One can be convinced that they can find a better way, whilst sitting in a meeting, many of the members of which have significant sober or clean time and are living productive lives practicing the principles of recovery in all their affairs. A clear sign of the insidiousness of the disease, self-will run riot to the bitter end in some cases.

It’s hard, maybe even impossible to explain how a program, such as 12-Step recovery, can bring people knocking on death’s door back to health and sanity. There is really no way to pinpoint one thing, other than to say that when one is finally at the stage of their disease where they can finally cast self-will aside and surrender to something greater—they can and do recover through spiritual maintenance. Putting one’s faith in the program without any guaranteed outcome, takes tremendous courage. To admit to oneself and others that you do not have the answers is a humbling experience. All because you hold on to the hope that life will get better if you are willing to take certain steps.

Hope for Recovery

The beautiful thing about “hope,” is that it’s the strongest when the sea is rough (e.g. rock bottom). When everyone and everything seems lost, hope can be all that sustains you. Many a person has looked up from the bottom and hoped for a better way, hoped for assistance in finding a new way of living. It can provide the calm one needs just long enough to reach out for help. We are reminded of Emily Dickinson’s poem ‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers:

‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –

And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird

That kept so many warm –
I’ve heard it in the chilliest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.

If your addiction has brought you untenable depths, perhaps Hope can lift you up. Please contact Christians Drug Rehab at Hope by The Sea to begin the life changing journey of recovery.

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