Hope. It was the ray of light that shone into my darkness of despair; the light that that led me forward into a new life.
Hope was the hands that reached out to me when I was trembling and scared and embraced me in their warmth. These were the hands of my god, the source of the hope that was brought into my life because he cradled me in his hands, he picked me up when I was broken and carried me when I couldn’t carry myself.
I didn’t know if hope before I came to step two. All I knew was the crushing disappointment of yet one more attempt to control my drinking. I thought that I was destined to spend years always trying and failing to be ‘normal.’ I thought that I was a failure that I was weak-willed and lacked control.
I did lack control, but not because I was a weak-willed person but because I am an addict with the disease of addiction kicking. It kicks around in the form of alcoholism, and whilst I have a reprieve from drinking today, I still have the disease. Without my HP whom I choose to call god, it can control me. This is because my poor little brain and emotions cannot deal with the implications and manipulation by themselves; I need my higher power to take this burden from me every day.
I remember when I first had the sense of hope. It was a flicker of a ray — just a thought “Can this really be true? Can ‘god’ really be my answer? ‘Would ‘god’ really be able to fix this? I had just about given up all hope. I guess you could say that the belief in god was my last ditch approach.
I was willing to try anything, and this included believing in something or someone that I wasn’t even sure existed but was hopeful that they did. I hoped that whatever ‘it’ was out there would help me. I was willing to believe in the hope that this concept gave me.
I was extremely dubious at first because, as mentioned before, hope often led to disappointment. I would have false expectations brought on by ‘hope.’ Would this time really be any different? I knew somehow that this was different, because it felt different. It was in my heart.
That sense of hope, however miniscule it was at the time, had caught my heart on fire, and it was starting to burn. I was willing to have hope that someone/something would help me not just with the physical, but with the whole of this disease that whatever this ‘thing’ out there was, would be able to free me from the despair and hell my life had become when I was drinking. It was hope that gave birth to faith.
Having hope meant having a willingness to believe, and this meant to pray. I didn’t know who or what I was praying too, but I was willing to pray. The perception of my HP at the time was very overwhelming and scary. I really had no idea about the concept of how this power greater then myself would be able to help me, but I had to trust. That was a very scary place to be. I started off praying to an entity that felt like a stranger but who is now a friend.
My god is a friend who shows me unconditional love, who guides me as I crawl, walk, run, hop, skip, dance and stumble through recovery and who inspires me with just as much hope as when I first got down on my knees.
There is a line from a Keb Mo song that I like “hand it over, hand it over, get on your knees and pray.” That is exactly what I did. Got down on my knees and prayed; with hope in my heart and fear in my eyes but I did it.
Hope is power. Hope is a healer. It is a chance of new beginnings. Having the willingness to believe in something that could give me a new chance was a gift. It can be a scary place to be though. I liken it to standing on the edge of the cliff and you are teetering on the edge, scared to jump because the unknown of the air is scarier than the ledge that you will land on — and what if you don’t land on it? This is where the hope comes in that wind of faith will catch you as you fall and make you fly.
Having hope was taking the jump. That’s all I needed to do; the rest came as it needed to. On the times when I do start to fall down towards that edge and on the times that I’ve landed: I may be a little bruised and dusty, but I still know how to fly. Because hope taught me to jump and faith taught me to fly.
I would love to hear your experience about hope and what step two means to you.