For each of us, hope might mean something different. However, in principle hope is the belief that things in the future will get better. Hope is the inspired foundation that fuels us with the energy to take action and get better. In active addiction, I took myself to various low points or “bottoms”. There have been times I did not have a place to sleep, had no money for food, alienated my family or lay dying on a hospital floor. I don’t tell you this for pity or sympathy, as I am and always have been responsible for my own actions or lack thereof. Rather, I share these past dire circumstances as an example of times when I was without hope. During my darkest hours of trying to numb the pain through the use of drugs/alcohol, it wasn’t easy to see any light at the end of the tunnel. Fortunately, I received the gift of treatment at White Sands and it was here that I was taught how and where to find hope again.
I learned that hope is contagious. My primary therapist gave me a therapeutic assignment to spend time getting to know some of our Behavioral Techs in recovery and ask them to share their stories of overcoming addiction. After hearing where they came from and how much they had accomplished since becoming clean/sober, I started to have more faith in a brighter future. Twelve Step speaker meetings are an excellent place to catch a message of hope. We absorb hope by surrounding ourselves with others whom are committed to positive change and willing to take the action required to achieve it. Hope is also accrued and will exponentially grow by positively affirming to ourselves that we are strong, we are worthy, we are capable and we are recovering.
As part of my job, I call you to check and see how you are doing. When I hear positive reports of lives and families are coming back together, it’s very inspirational. Sometimes I am not able to get a hold of everyone on the phone so I rely on our Social Media platform to stay connected with you. One of the things I love about our Alumni Group Facebook Page is that our members have a place to share their success with one another. Almost every day, I see new posts about recovery milestones like clean/sober time anniversaries and step work achievements. I also get to see posts of alumni parents reunited with their children, alumni returning to school, working hard at the gym, overcoming sickness and getting new jobs. Your accomplishments continue to inspire me in my recovery. Of course there are times where we all experience hardships in our lives. Those are the times that we must be there to support each other. I occasionally see members post in our group about difficulties they are facing or slips they have had. In every case where one of us has been struggling, I have seen our community rally and offer immediate support of those in need. That shows me we have an extremely special love for one another and offer much hope for us all.
As the roller coaster of life without drugs/alcohol brings our emotions from exciting highs to frightening lows, it is vital to remain determined. Creating a plan to accomplish achievable short terms goals can provide a hopeful beginning. Once we reach our short term goals, we are then infused with the confidence to make and even exceed longer term goals. I’m not saying that it is easy. It seems that most worthwhile things in life require hard work. However, the key is to practice what we learn. Patterns of old self-defeating behavior have been years in the making. As we gain acceptance and patience with the process, we understand that we will succeed one step at a time. Before long, the light at the end of that tunnel that once appeared to be a tiny pinprick will be shining so brightly, we will have to wear shades to get any closer.
We all have dreams of the great things we want to be or do with our lives. For a period of time, maybe we became sidetracked, lost faith or chose to victimize ourselves through the disease of addiction. Our trials and tribulations can be transformed in to sources of strength and courage. Now is the time for us to not only survive but to thrive.
As Albert Einstein once said, “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.”
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.