Hope as a Principle

Hope is not a foundation that I build my life around.  This elusive principle was not a tool that I used in times of difficulty.  Growing up in dysfunction and becoming an alcoholic encapsulated hopelessness rather than hope.  I found life to be a series of hopeless trials to endure until I once again could find that numb feeling in alcohol.  Oblivion was not something I sought until the day that I did, and then from that point on nothing short of that would suffice.  It was a dark and bleak existence but to me, it was the only normal life I knew, everything that I had, everything that I did was just a placeholder for the numbness that I could once again find within the bottle.

When I first entered into recovery I found myself in a room full of people just like me.  They had found that feeling of oblivion and chased it until they could no longer chase it.  These people felt like I did, they thought like I did and they did things like I did except these people spoke of hope.  I heard it in their words but more importantly, I saw it in their eyes.  I was told that if I remain open, willing, and committed to the process I could have hope too.  I believed them because I had nothing else to lose.  I wasn’t sure I believed that I could have hope but I surely believed that they found it.

I began the process of recovery and every step I took, every meeting I attended, every onion layer I peeled back I found more and more hope.  Every therapy session I engaged in, every time I immersed myself in recovery literature, every time I took an intentional action of recovery I found more and more hope.  Every time I met with others in recovery, every time I intentionally helped others in need, every time I shared what was freely given to me with love I found more and more hope.  Until one day, I began to live my life with the foundation of hope as a principle that I implemented intentionally in every situation.

Today, with the lens of sobriety, I try to intentionally find hope in every situation that may happen in my life, good or bad.  I try to focus on the positives rather than the negatives, I try to stay grateful rather than needy, I try to find the similarities rather than the differences.  I try to reframe every situation as an opportunity to grow and learn from rather than endure and escape from.  I look at all broken relationships in my life as an opportunity to mend with love rather than push away with silent scorn.  Today with the help of recovery I look at all people, places, and things as having a positive purpose, and if I realize that, I stay hopeful.

About the Author

Mathew is a sober member of the recovery community since January 1, 2017. He is a father, a husband and a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and trauma. He has found hope and beauty in the moment, looking through the lens of recovery.

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Pat N.
Pat N.
1 year ago

Thank you, Mathew. Well-stated. In a way, instead of hope I have confidence. Hanging out with the right people, learning to think better thoughts and make better choices like they do, I’m confident I can handle whatever happens, if I work on discerning what I can change and what I can’t

Robert B
Robert B
1 year ago

“…Oblivion was not something I sought until the day that I did, and then from that point on nothing short of that would suffice…” Thank you. This became true for me as well over the course of 2 years, after 7 years of abstinence. I didn’t find hope during white-knuckle abstinence done mostly on my own. But I have found it sober, even in times of despair. Sober for a time now, I’m still stunned by how small and dark my universe had become before, and big and bright it became after.