February 4

HOPE MONTH: DAY 4: “Hope is a verb with its shirtsleeves rolled up.” ― David Orr

We may get hope when we come into this thing, but I believe the message we really need to carry is that this is a program of recovery, based on spiritual needs, gained through the continuous action of working 12 steps.

A lot of addicts seem to believe that we are going to receive this thing without doing the work, again and again. There is no resting place here. Growth is a continuous process of WORK! I get to see what happens to those who sit still and do no work and DON’T drink or use.

It is brutal! I got that when my first grand-sponsor committed suicide at 27 years without a drink. I do not call what she had sobriety or recovery. It was NOT that. I got a new sponsor the next day. The tough one, the one who scared the shit out of me.

She told me the truth and taught me about recovery in this deal. And she laughed more than any person I have ever known. I am in the process of having her old tapes put onto cds. Both are obsolete now, but I love hearing her laughter, it was constant.

She was such a happy person, and taught me how to be happy, joyous and free. I loved that phrase when I got here. I kept waiting for it to seep into my butt as I sat in the chairs in meetings, but it never did.

Instead, like all good things, I got to do the work of these steps. I have never had a sponsee or known another person as happy as Allene was or I am. What I do know is that she was an inspiration for thousands of women and I want what she had.

She taught me how to get it. And I have it now. Happiness, despite all outward situations and conditions. Happiness. I love me. And my life. And I know how it happened.

Most of those I work with do the minimum necessary to relieve their pain. They seem to believe that this stuff is only for “fixing” them when they are f—d up.

Too bad, it really doesn’t work like that. But my journey is mine, and yours is yours. I hold out the hope, but you gotta roll up them sleeves and get to work. Do what you want, but it ain’t how this came about for me.

I hope for you that you get what I have gotten. There is a recipe, and it isn’t a secret. Take good care and do what is in front of you to truly THRIVE!

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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