Reflections of a Recovering Addict #4

I was browsing through the news feed on my Facebook page one day and saw that a fellow recovering addict, and very dear friend, I might add, had posted the following: “I need some input… What is your idea or definition of HOPE?” She was going to be speaking at a meeting that evening and wanted to share not only her own perspective, but that of other addicts too. Several people responded, including myself. I really enjoyed reading the different points of view on something as simple, yet life-sustaining, as hope. I wanted to get more views, so I asked this friend if I may repost her question on my page, and with her blessing, I did.

Unfortunately, I did not get many responses, so posted it again and again on a recovery group page and was pleasantly surprised by some of the answers. By definition, hope is “the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best; a feeling of desire for something and confidence in the possibility of its fulfillment; a thing, situation, or event that is desired; to feel that something desired may happen; a reasonable ground for this feeling; a person or thing that gives cause for hope; to trust, expect, desire, rely, or believe.” I found these definitions on I also found an acronym, and though I believe it is some sort of marketing for a company, I feel it hits the nail on the head for those in recovery.  HOPE—Health Opportunity for People Everywhere.

Some of the responses that were given were similar to the academic definition, while others were very different and offered an insight that only experience could provide. Hope is different for everybody, and it can mean different things in different situations. I am writing this to record some of the answers that I received to this question, so if ever I feel I have lost all hope, I can come back to this and find it again. Here are the responses; do any of them resonate with you?

“Hope for me comes with wanting something and having faith and hope that it will happen. Also putting something into action and hoping for the desired outcome. Hope for me comes with faith, action, willingness and prayer.”

“Possible. (living with my heart not my head, not letting my limited knowledge keep me from trying)”

“Hope to me means there is always something to hold onto. If you have no hope you have given up.”

“Hope for me is when I hear other women’s experience and strength in the rooms, it keeps me hopeful that I too can achieve what they have. For example listening to their experiences and what they had to endure to get their kids back and all the other gifts of recovery. Hope is the truth for me.”

“Hope is one of those words that is hard to define without using the word. But for me hope is about faith…trusting the outcome.”

“Faith that something is possible.”

“Narcotics Anonymous”

“Honesty; Open-mindedness; Willingness; Patience; Empathy…”

“Hope to me is… Getting through to the other side; if all else fails I still have hope, the light in the midst of my darkness , a reason to press on, an application of action and faith in God for the results; food for my soul …”

“For me Hope is a fact not yet realized but none the less a fact.”

“It means i have a chance at a real life now.”

“Hope is being kicked while your down, having drama, shit and heartache thrown at you and still believing in yourself that it will get better.”

“Hope means that I believe “it works for you” that it could also be right for me!”

“To me… Hope means light in the darkest times. To have hope has saved my life.”

“Hope is my middle name… It gave me strength courage and the will to keep on fighting everyday in the face adversity!”

“Hope for me was the beginning of a faith that I never knew I was capable of.”

“For me Hope is the dream of a soul awake.”

“To me, hope means there’s a real possibility I won’t have to drink or use today.”

“I try to lead by example. The need to see that there is another way of life and that there is light at the end of the tunnel. [A showing of] all the benefits of recovery, a new and better life free from the horrors of drugs and alcohol.”

“The first message of Hope I had heard in a long time: “We know who you are, and you really don’t have to live that way anymore if you don’t want to.” One day at a time, that’s been true for me for 30 years as of yesterday.”

“Faith in things unseen…”

“A belief that God could do for me what I could not do for myself.”

“Step 2 is what gave me hope.” (Step two: We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.)

“Hope is that I am alive“

“Hope is that deep inside I know it’s not all over yet…”

“Trusting that things will turn out through faith!”

“The Hope is that I can stay sober one day at a time and all I have to do is not pick up the first drink and trust in my Higher Power. The days become weeks – the weeks become months and the months become years. Plus I know it works. Blessed assurance. “

“The first real hope I got was at my first speaker meeting. I saw hope that I could be alright. I heard similarities in the speakers story. If she could do it maybe I could too.”

“Just keep into action with faith, leaving result s to your Higher Power.”

“Hope to me is seeing the experience of others who [have] grown up and changed their lives and shows their bad days turn into good by working and giving to others time to spend.”

“Hope changes from day-to-day.”

“The night before sentencing.”

“I see hope as desire… If I desire to stay clean, I have hope. If I desire to succeed, I have hope. If I desire to live, I have hope. If I lose my desire, I lose all hope.”

This last response is the one I gave; however, as I have read through these individual responses again, I have learned a lot more about what hope is and what it means to have hope than I ever thought possible. One last thought I would like to offer and that is if you reach a point where you do not believe there is any hope left, reach out to someone. They may have enough for both of you.


2 responses to “Reflections of a Recovering Addict #4

    • Thank you. Something that may be interesting for you to give a look see, both for yourself and possibly for your blog, is to find a copy of the 12 steps and see how they might apply to bipolor disorder. For example, the first step for NA is to admit we are powerless to our addiction. I think it is safe to say, those with bipolar disorder are powerless to being bipolar, as it is a medical condition and not something that is self induced. This disorder was formally known as Manic Depressive Disorder, as I am sure you know, and I have only had limited introduction in my studies to date on what it all entails. I am eager to learn more and will find time soon to really read a lot of your experinces on your blog. Thank you again for your comment.

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