Before I get started, I need to extend some apologies. If you follow my blog you might have noticed that the last two posts have been removed. The first one was the excerpt about the Bridge from the book, The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beatty. I alluded to the fact that I didn't have the "rights" or permission to publish that but I went ahead and did it. That was wrong, especially for someone who would someday like to be a published author herself. I do recommend that you get the book, it has a lot of good food for thought.
In my next blog I posted a response I received to a post I submitted on a message board. That, too, broke copyright laws but even worse it broke the confidentiality of the person that posted that response. I use those message boards as my "meetings" as do many others and as such I need to treat the discussions there as I would if I attended a face-to-face meeting. It is the same respect I would want paid to me and even though we may not use our real names on the boards, our reputations are still our own, no matter what we call ourselves. I am very sorry for my indiscretion and I also want to thank the person that pointed it out to me so I won't make the same mistake again.
Yesterday morning I found myself walking the banks of the Pecos River when I literally stumbled over a square of sidewalk on which the following words were spray painted, "There Is No Hope." I wondered about the person who took the time to spray paint those words. Where are they? How are they today? Are they still feeling the same way? I hoped they are not. I can remember too clearly feeling that way. I remember a time when a desperate mantra repeated itself in a continuous chorus in my head. "I Hate My Life, I Hate My Life, I Hate Myself." Even as I type those words I want to deny them. That wasn't me. Even back then, when I heard those words circling my brain like vultures looking for fresh kill, I denied them. "This isn't me," I cried. I wasn't dead yet. There was still hope. Wasn't there?
Before I took that walk yesterday and found those forlorn words scrawled on the sidewalk, I had dropped the cap'n off at work and, as has become my custom when I find myself in a new town, I went in search of a church. I found St. Edwards and, as luck or fate would have it, the morning mass was just about to begin. And as has also become custom, it seemed as if the priest were speaking directly to me. The gospel was about the Jews returning to Zion and finding it destroyed. It filled them with despair and they were hopeless that they would be able to rebuild but God reassured them that old men and women would once again sit in its streets and children would play in them. During the homily, the priest compared it to a little boy staring at a jar full of used, empty candy wrappers. The jar is so crammed full of the rubble of wrappers that the boy can't see that there in the middle at the bottom is still some candy. He just has to dig for it.
It reminded me of my relapse last week. It reminded me of every relapse. It reminded me of when I first started on this journey. It is so easy to look at the rubble we've left behind, the havoc we've wreaked and say, "Why bother to try again? I've destroyed everything I started. There is nothing left. There is no hope" That's when you have a choice to make. You can cling to that one thread of hope that is left and hang on with all of your might or you can let go. You can clear all the booze out of your system like all those rumpled candy wrappers in the jar until you can finally get a glimpse of the hope that is gasping for breath in your brain or you can continue to pour in the alcohol until you've drowned every last bit of hope you have. It's up to you.
But a word of warning. Hope is not that easy to get rid of. Just when you think you've destroyed every last bit of it, you'll feel some floating back up to the surface and if you've used the highest grade, purest hope to lay the foundation for your future life you might find that with all the tears and sweat you've shed while rebuilding your life again and again that fragile hope has hardened into a belief. A belief in yourself. And with every rebuild, every restoration and renovation that belief has refortified itself and grown stronger. If so, you might as well build on it because it's not going anywhere.