February 13

HOPE MONTH: DAY 13: “Where there is no hope, it is incumbent on us to invent it.” ― Albert Camus

I have been truly hope-less only once in my life. And it only lasted for a few minutes. Recently, I have been despairing over some of the stuff that I encounter on my journey, but not about MY stuff. I get to learn a lot about people, and sometimes their stories are overwhelming in their presentation and what others might continue to cling to.

My life has been full of my own dysfunction and old ideas. The work I do is to create a life where I am no longer engaged in all that crap. When I encounter it in large doses, I sometimes feel like I need to walk away from that. It isn’t mine, but I don’t want to experience it in others either. So, I know that I have been exposed to toxic doses of “stuff.”

I just move back into my own life and let it sit for a bit on the shelf. This is what happens to those who work in mental health arenas in every-day work situations. I learned a long time ago how to take care of myself and not carry it with me.

When I do, I get physically sick from the toxic “stuff.” It ain’t mine to fix, or carry, or cure or anything. It belongs to you and you and you and you. So, I get to hand it off and let it go. And do deep self-care that brings me back to my amazing and healing world. I love it here.

In a daily meditation book I got many, many years ago, there is a page in Step 3 that talks about how we know the dance we learned early in life. We may stop dancing, but as soon as the music plays, we begin to move our feet, even when we know better. I have always loved that analogy.

Because I work in addiction and have most of my relationships with recovery people, I am confronted at regular intervals with varying degrees of dysfunction. That is when the music begins to play. My ego (SPM) can create a scenario where I believe I am supposed to swim into other’s messes and rescue them. That is ALL Ego…I am not here to prove anything to anyone.

My experience in personal recovery is that when I was sick of swimming in the cesspool of dysfunction and crippled relationships, I learned how to climb out and not jump back in. That is my experience. I have to stay away from the toxic stuff of my family and all those I knew in my early life, because I do NOT want what they have, and I do not want to do what they do. Ugh!

Some of us live like our lives are an ongoing version of Jerry Springer’s show. It is not what I want my life to look or feel like. Been there, it sucks.

So I stay in my lane and examine my motives for what they are. I am brutally honest and work with my sponsor to see where I am deluded and dysfunctional. This takes too much work for me to have time for others’ drama.

In this way, I follow Mr. Camus in creating hope where there is none. I step back and let the stream or river of dysfunction pass me by. I no longer want to be involved in it in any way. I have no say in the stopping of it. I just don’t need to play. Thank God for recovery and being restored to sanity in so many of the ways that do not really connect directly to drugs and alcohol. A lot of folks just aren’t going to get to this place of Happy, Joyous and Free. My feet don’t even dance today.

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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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