Using Hope as a Tool in Treatment
It is nothing less than heartbreaking to suffer from alcoholism and addiction. Not only for those afflicted directly but all who know and love them. It is a devastating disease that wreaks complete havoc on so many lives. It is precisely this aspect of alcoholism and addiction that calls for nothing less than real and powerful hope in response. This is not a pop psychology, New Age treatment for the disease — it is a working part of the 12-Step foundation of lasting recovery. Without at least the possibility that every aspect of their life can improve by finding and maintaining recovery, alcoholics and addicts may not find enough incentive to do the work that recovery requires. After all, alcohol and substances provide temporary relief of mental, emotional, spiritual, and sometimes physical pain. If there is not a strong chance for healing and transformation, there may not be enough momentum generated to keep them on the path.
The Promise of Hope
This is exactly why we at Jaywalker Lodge make no bones about it. We outright proclaim it every chance we get. Hope is one of our bedrock foundations — this knowledge that recovery is about the promise of a beautiful future, and not at all about the consequences of our past in our disease. It simply can’t be any other way. Those who come to us for help must know that this is a promise. The future is unforeseeable, but we can count on it getting better in recovery. We consciously stress this concept so that what begins as hope for those new to recovery reveals itself over time to be an active truth in their lives.
Given the typical circumstances under which most people seek recovery, hope is not always an easy sell. There is usually great remorse and regret over the past, which is matched by great dread about the future. Many imagine a terrible comeuppance, a karmic backlash, or worst of all, a future that is simply more of the same life they’ve already experienced. One of the major goals at Jaywalker Lodge is to keep people motivated to do the work of recovery so they progress far enough to reconcile with their past under the guidance of the 12-Steps. Ideally, they will take the steps that help them organize, understand, process, and let go of their past, so they can do the work of atoning and amending their past as best they can. This will begin the process of healing and introduce freedom from their past, so they are able to embrace the beauty and potential of the present and future.
Hope Can Be Found Here
The way to achieve this goal is to expose the inherent hope in the journey of recovery. We do what we can to right our past wrongs. We face our anger, fear, and relationship patterns. Yet we do this so we can begin to heal and make better choices in our lives moving forward. It must be made explicitly clear that those 12-Steps that deal with our past don’t do so in order to punish us, but to set us free so that we may be present in the now. Being clear and free in the moment is the best chance we have of building a bright future. Consequences are not the point, although there may be some. The point is to clear ourselves of the damage done in our disease, both to ourselves and others.
This is the gift of recovery. We heal, we deal, and we move forward with a mindset for service and spiritual growth. From this process, we are able to live a life beyond our wildest dreams — not necessarily because of material things, but because it is more full of love, wonder, and possibility than we ever knew existed. This is a truly hopeful message! And at Jaywalker Lodge we don’t shy away from it. We practically shout it from the rooftops. (Okay, not really, but hope is alive and well here.)
Hope must abound and abide in order to sustain those seeking recovery through the ups and downs of the process. So we make sure that it is everywhere. The best part is that hope of recovery is not a smoke-and-mirrors illusion — it is reliable and real. Though there are no guarantees about what the future will look like, we can assure the men who come here that it is bright and beautiful. They can see it all around them in the lives of other alcoholics and addicts who have recovered. Hope is not a cheap sentiment used to trick them into signing their lives away. It is the visible promise that recovery will transform their lives if they work the 12-Step program.
Recovery asks for fearlessness, honesty, and open-mindedness. It takes courage and commitment to do the work. We must above all be willing to face our pasts, our judgments, and our behaviors. In return, we are freed of the things that have kept us imprisoned by our disease. As we take the 12-Steps, we are rewarded with a whole new outlook on ourselves, our lives, others, and the world. We are given a life that is made full by service, community, and love. We receive meaning, purpose, and direction. This is most definitely a good reason to focus on hope.
Alcoholism and addiction are a devastating disease that can derail lives and cause terrible damage. This disease causes great internal suffering, let alone the havoc of damaged lives and hurt relationships. It robs the sufferer of their ability, their control, and their hope, making the future seem impossibly bleak. The good news is there is a solution. Recovery is possible for anyone who is willing, honest, and open-minded. If an alcoholic or addict is in possession of these traits, they can work the 12-Step program of recovery to miraculous effect. This program is designed to produce the necessary psychic change and vital spiritual experience that bring about lasting recovery. Not only can they find recovery, but they also find healing, freedom, meaning, and purpose. Most alcoholics and addicts who work the 12-Step program find a life beyond their wildest dreams. Never give up hope. If you are ready for help, Jaywalker Lodge is ready to help you. Call us now at (866) 529-9255.