February 23

HOPE MONTH: DAY 23: “Everything that is done in this world is done by hope.” ― Martin Luther

All I have ever accomplished is because of belief that I could possibly succeed. I think the most important message we can carry to those who are new to this is the message that they, too, can succeed here.

However, it is our duty to be responsible for also maintaining that there is a set of guidelines here that must be adhered to in order to successfully achieve recovery. I do not say abstinence, because many people achieve that without any work at all. We know some of them. They do not appeal to most of us, because they remain angry, bitter, peevish, all the symptoms we are here to alleviate.

If I had wanted a permanent hangover, I would have kept doing what I did to get them. I watch a lot of people who come here and remain hungover for long periods of time. Then they get really thirsty. I do not know a lot of people who come here, do a thorough job with these steps, continue to maintain their spiritual condition with ongoing work, and drink or use.

I do not know that person. I can see, based on observations of attitudes and behaviors, why most of the relapsers do what they do. And then there are those who are miserable, hanging on by teeth and toenails, hating everyone and everything. We call them dry-drunks. I call them hungover. They never got what we get from this thing; because they never invested the time and work it takes to succeed.

So, that hope is not that they need to go to 10 meetings each day, or even 1 meeting each day. It is that they must maintain a relationship with those who are going to direct their recovery in ways that worked for them. In order to meet those folks, they need to be in meetings for those early days.

Meetings do not get us or keep us in recovery. They are mostly social in nature. Little actual recovery takes place there. I get to meet people who are going to be my companions as I walk through my life in recovery.

I renew those relationships at meetings. Some of them. Others have been carefully tended and nurtured over the years. They mean a great deal to me. Some have lapsed, because I move a lot and do not get to see people very often. The ones that mean the most to me are those I maintain. I work at that as well. If we begin to grow apart, I work the steps to see where I am at fault or needing to step away. That is not done without thought and consideration. I have had to step away from a lot of people in these many years. And that is all as it should be.

And there is then room for new relationships to come into my life. Those people who are walking the path where I want to go. And we hold out our hands to each other and say Welcome. Walk with me. And so it is. And those who want to walk with us are always welcome. We tell them how we do it. We do not do it for them.

We give them hope that, they, too, can walk our road. It is a good and righteous road, this road of hope and recovery. Check it out!

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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