Some days it is really hard to have hope.
Some days we really struggle to see or believe there really is light at the end of this “recovery” tunnel— at least, light that isn’t an oncoming train.
That happens to almost everybody in recovery. It definitely happens to me.
Hopelessness chips away at our motivation, our focus, our physical energy, our resourcefulness.
Recovery takes a tremendous amount of energy— and, as strange as it might sound, faith.
Lots of times we just don’t believe that there really is meaningful recovery for people like us.
We want to, we try to…but we don’t.
On days like that it can feel like we’re flying blind— like we’re lost in a sky full of clouds, trusting our compass and other instruments to keep us pointed in the right direction.
When I say “faith” in this context, I’m not talking about spirituality. I’m talking about behaving as if something is true— even if we don’t have direct evidence of it.
Some days recovery is undeniably like that.
I don’t have proof that this “recovery” thing works out for everybody.
I don’t have proof that recovery is even going to work out for me.
There are days when I’m definitely of multiple minds on the subject.
Part of me can get very hopeless at times.
Part of me can really struggle with the idea that it’s worth it, pushing back against addiction, trauma, depression— that the stupid little skills and tools that I use and teach are nothing in the face of the emotional and behavioral hurricane that is addiction, trauma, and depression.
Some days that part of me can be VERY persuasive.
But then, there’s this other part of me— this part that says even if you DON’T wholeheartedly believe it right now, your recovery deserves the benefit of the doubt.
That’s where my hope lives.
I’ve learned, in my own recovery, that I don’t, actually, have to have COMPLETE faith in the process to keep going.
I’ve learned that I don’t need to COMPLETELY believe in every coping tool or skill to USE that tool or skill.
I’ve learned that some days I’m going to be frustrated or sad, and think that this is ALL bullsh*t…but that I can keep going in my recovery EVEN IF part of me thinks it’s all bullsh*t.
I’ve learned that my hope can coexist with my hopelessness.
I’ve learned my faith can coexist with my doubt.
I’ve learned that I don’t have to throw my entire recovery down the garbage chute just because part of me is thoroughly convinced it’s pointless in any one moment.
We are GOING to have not just moments, but probably DAYS where hope is in short supply— where the pain and hassle of recovery is far more real than any supposed long term benefit.
Speaking for myself, those are the days that present the most danger to my recovery.
On those days, the name of the game very often is surfing those thoughts instead of drowning in them.
That hopeless part of you will try to make you overreact to its emotional reasoning— and you’re going to want to.
Let that hopeless, hurt part of you exist. Don’t demand it shut up, don’t demand it go away. Let it say its piece.
It’s a part of you, and its voice is valid. It has a right to be heard.
But it doesn’t have a right to derail you from a recovery you’ve worked hard to build, day by day.
Let the hopelessness exist— but remember that, as overwhelming as it can feel at times, you are more than that hopelessness.
The very fact that you’re reading this tells me there is a part of you that is STILL hopeful. That is STILL invested in your recovery.
A part of you that STILL has faith.
Give that faith and hope the benefit of the doubt.
If you’re going to give up, you can always give up later.
For right now— stay with us.