Hope is Essential
To this day I am still blown away how a simple liquid in a bottle can destroy so many people. To the average Joe, alcohol is a wonderful thing meant to bring ease and enhancement to a situation. To the average alcoholic, it means death.
Towards the end of my drinking career, I was so damn depressed and miserable. I wanted to die. Go away. Get off this planet. Call it what you want to call it, I wanted gone. I was stuck deep in my disease of alcoholism and saw no way out. I have tried countless attempts at “bettering” myself in the past. Examples include therapy, counseling, treatment classes, self-help books, psychologists, psychiatrists and medications. None of it ever gave me the relief I craved. I was never happy and I became convinced I could never find joy. So I decided to end my life. I saw no point in going on. I had a problem that I had no solution to that just kept getting more devastating by the day. I was fighting what I thought was an un-winnable battle.
I had no hope.
Did anyone catch that in my list of things to better myself there was one thing I had not tried? I had not given the twelve steps of alcoholics anonymous a try. It’s funny too because AA is so popular that should have been my first go-to. But nope. I tried killing myself which obviously did not work. Fast forward through some more pain then came the glorious day when I came-and stayed-in AA. Events transpired that got me there, I did the deal and finally found the relief I had been searching for my whole life. I don’t know exactly what “it” is that I found, all I know is that my soul had been desperately craving it. The experience of being involved in AA has been the best thing I have ever done for myself. I feel like my life began when I joined the rooms. It is truly indescribable. I don’t know how or why or when, but my hope has been restored. The future does not look bleak and desolate like it used to.
It is not all beauty and glamour of course. I still go through times of grief and pain. I can blow things out of proportion and think my way into despair. I will obsess over some small thing, then turn it into a huge monstrous issue. Let me mention that this huge issue is rarely related to the small disturbance that got the ball rolling. So this small thing escalates and suddenly the only conclusion I can come up with is that I have to die. I must because how can I ever face this problem? I say this in a joking manner because it’s ridiculous how I can go from a flat tire to needing a new car to not having money to needing to pay old bills to remembering old things I need to do to how I suck at taking care of my responsibilities to remembering how many responsibilities I have to knowing I cannot do it all to realizing how awful I am to hating myself so I must die. Damn! That was simply an example of how this can work. See I went from going about my day to losing hope in 2.5 seconds? Of course when this happens I do not want to die, nor is suicide an option. I have lost hope. And when I lose hope, I lose everything. I still get a rare glimpse of these moments from time to time, but they are immediately replaced because I know there is always a solution. There is always hope. Recovery has given me a solution to arrest my drinking problem, and the steps of the program have given me a blueprint for successful living. AA has given me hope.
I do it because it works.
I do it because I live a life of recovery.