Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Day of Hope

“The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day he created Spring.”
Bern Williams

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.”
Anne Bradstreet

“All through the long winter, I dream of my garden. On the first day of spring, I dig my fingers deep into the soft earth. I can feel its energy, and my spirits soar.”
Helen Hayes

When I decided to write something in honor of the vernal equinox, the first day of Spring, I couldn’t choose which of these three quotes to use. They all speak to me. So you’re getting all three.
Spring does represent hope to me. The long winter is officially over. The sun will linger longer in the sky. The plants will bathe in it.
I finished the colossal work of weeding at 6 p.m. on the first day of Spring. Everything is clean and ready for the season of growth. I found new buds hidden in the weeds. I uncovered hyacinths. The buds on the cherry trees have exploded into flowers.
Hope explodes.

An alcoholic woman I sponsor is in intensive care today with bleeding in the brain following a head injury. She’s unable to tell us what happened. She’s unable to communicate because it looks like her language center is severely impaired.
What we know is that no one heard from her for over two days, and a bag of groceries sat on the table with the lettuce turning to mush. We know she was incoherent from a head injury when she was found Friday by the police after a concerned friend called them. She was malnourished and severely dehydrated.
We know that four large, empty bottles of mouthwash were found in her trashcan outside the house. We know that she has struggled to stay sober ever since giving up some years of sobriety on a drunken spree last year.
And I know that this time she was very excited by a newfound sense of surrender and she was happy to have three months sober.

For someone who suffers from alcoholism, alcohol is cunning. The disease is almost a living beast with powerful claws and teeth that sink deep into a person who is unarmed against it. To keep it at bay, recovering alcoholics have to maintain a daily close spiritual contact with a Power greater than alcohol. Recovery takes a lot of courage and vigilance. It isn’t for sissies.
The reason I’m relating this story on a day of hope is this: For anyone who is an addict/alcoholic, or who loves an addict/alcoholic, the disease only seems to be hopeless. There is a Power greater than the disease. Millions of people have tapped that unsuspected inner resource and have been released from bondage. I’m powerless to save someone who suffers from addiction, but there is Someone who can, and who will, if He is sought.

Today hope springs eternal.


Alan Burnett said...

Thank you for reminding me that alcohol is not always a pleasurable thing.

Kim A. said...

How sad and horrible and tragic for that woman. I shared the other day to the newcomers in our Alanon meeting that the laughter they hear at the meetings is real but we don't think the disease is a joke. It steals the people we love. It hurts those it touches. The choice I have is whether to laugh or cry sometimes at the insanity of the disease. I will pray for her, light a candle for her and her family and know that her HP loves her. It just sucks sometimes, dammit.


Secretia said...

Winter seems hopeless until Spring arrives. No awful thing has to be forever.


Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

God be with you and her.

Collette said...

I am so sorry the woman is in such bad shape. I will pray for you & her. You are right. Recovery from alcoholism is not for cowards. It takes every minute of the day to stay sober sometimes.
Thank you for the quotes. They are so hopeful! (((HUGS)))

TechnoBabe said...

Great writing, I so love that you are a sponsor but you are not the one who saves someone. Each of us has to do our own work. Seek our higher power's help. The good thing is that there is help. And hope.

Shadow said...

at one time alcoholism seemed inescapable to me. hope and determination changed that. god willing. one day at a time. lovely post!

Syd said...

What a tragic thing. I hope that she will recovery from her injuries. But she will never fully recover from alcoholism. I hope that she will find that spiritual contact can keep it in abeyance.

Marion said...

I'm sorry. It is so difficult and heartbreaking when one we sponsor turns back to the disease.

"To keep it at bay, recovering alcoholics have to maintain a daily close spiritual contact with a Power greater than alcohol. Recovery takes a lot of courage and vigilance. It isn’t for sissies."

I just had to copy these phrases which are so completely true, and such a reminder for me. Thank you.

My favourite saying...Let go and Let God.

Brian Miller said...

so sorry to hear about the lady...and yes there is only one rescuer...smiles.

lakeviewer said...

Spring reminds us there is always hope. Well said.

Magpie said...

I'm so happy you're ready for spring planting and that you found surprises in among the weeds. Life is like that...
I'm praying for your friend and hope that she and her family can accept the Lord's plan for her.
You're a lovely soul.

Jingle said...

smart and insightful!
Happy Sunday!

Always smiling said...

How awesome to be there with someone asking of help from the Highest One of All... what a blessing you must be to her..
God's richest blessings on you both.

Thank you for your comments on my Magpie writing blog, it is a new blog and I am so enjoying the help and challenge.

Felicitas said...

Springtime speaks to me of hope and new beginnings, as well. And spirituality has certainly helped many of us to find a better way in this world. I hope it's not too late for your friend.

Marla said...

So sad and yet hopeful. Addiction hurt our family several times over. You described it perfectly.

chitowngreg said...

Just when it was beginning to feel like Spring in Chicago, we got snow on Saturday! Oh well, our Spring flowers are used to a little snow. At least this one wasn't after Easter!!

Susan said...

Really enjoyed reading your posts from today and the past couple of days. I relate to your posts about your mom, my dad has the same problem. And I too have to just chuckle at most things he says. Otherwise the sadness gets heavy. Yay for Spring! Love your photos.
So sorry to hear about your sponsee. I hope she can recover.

Albert Einstein Quotes