Hope Will Only Get You So Far in Recovery

Photo: Christopher Burns at Unsplash
Anyone who has been around addiction recovery will realise that there is more to success than a simple formula or cliche mantras. It takes what it takes, and sometimes it’s a mystery.

Trying and Crying

It took me two and a half years of trying and crying before I finally had my last drink.

And I’m one of the lucky ones!

In the Recovery Movement there many theories and recommendations to giving up addictive substances and even within one group, such as AA, there are plenty of differences of opinions.

It’s baffling to the outsider but heartbreaking to the one who still suffers in their disease.

Is addiction a disease at all?

The AMA declared in 1956 that alcoholism is an illness and it is regarded by both physicians and psychiatrists as a disease. Unabated, it also leads to other health risks such as cirrhosis of the liver.

There is considerable medical research on the symptoms and consequences of addictive drinking, also known as Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD).

Successful treatment of alcoholism lies in various combinations of Psychotherapy, 12 Step programs, Rehab, Medication, and Religion. There is no cure.


DISCLAIMER: I am biased because I got sober going to AA meetings and Buddhist classes.

Just as it is difficult in getting an objective opinion about the current President of the United States, it is also true of Recovery.

I have seen many ‘miracles’ come through the doors of the rooms that you would wager your last dollar wouldn’t ‘make it’.

Photo by Simone Acquaroli on Unsplash

There are the heartbreaking occurrences of ones who have everything to live for but die by the own hand whilst attempting to get sober.

And there are the guys and girls who get sober for a few months or maybe years, go out and try some more drinking, realise they can’t drink, and yet they can’t NOT DRINK. These alkies are perhaps the hardest to understand.

I have a thing that I do.

Came to Believe

I concentrate for a whole month each year on one step of the famed 12 Steps. This is February so I’ve been thinking, acting, and writing on Step 2.

Step 2: “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity”

For me and a lot of my fellowship friends — we believe that without this vital step, most recovering alcoholics won’t achieve sobriety.

On the Recovery.org website, I found this quote: “This step gives you hope. You are not alone, and something greater than you can help you conquer your addiction and despair”.


Hope in the rooms is also a much-loved acronym for Hearing Other Peoples’ Experiences. And herein lies the main importance for me.

  1. I was an alcoholic — a mental and physical disease
  2. My best thinking got me here
  3. The best medical and psychiatric treatment hadn’t stopped me drinking
  4. A big group of people had been getting sober since 1935
  5. They told me to pray

The combination of my Higher Power and the stories and support of fellow alkies has helped me get sober and stay that way for 9 years and 11 months.

It took me 2.5 years to understand and accept the Step 2. When I did, my belief in a Higher Power moved to the teachings of Buddha and I love the teachings of Buddha!


Today, my life is easy, but no way perfect.

Every day I wonder why I am so deluded. Every day I wish I didn’t have to go to meetings.

But I don’t want to trade my life for the old life — and I don’t want to trade my life for anyone else’s.

THAT’S a miracle.

love alwaz



6 thoughts on “Hope Will Only Get You So Far in Recovery

  1. Thank you for your post. I mark this as the first day (after 3,5 years not drinking) in which I think I understand the concept of a Higher Power and how being able to build on this / with this / along this concept helps to live ‘in line’ with ‘how things were meant to be’. I think I understand now. Thank you 🙂 ❤
    xx, Feeling

    1. Wow.
      I’m so pleased for you to feel that way. As I like to bore people with…Smile, Breathe and Go Slowly. love alwaz,

      1. Ghegheghe, smile, breathe and go slowly is a very sound advice. I linked to your page so you can possibly ‘bore’ some people who were not following you yet. 😉 Hope that is ok?
        xx, Feeling

  2. Mike, Step 2 is and continues to be a process of the coming to believe. Meetings are vital to me as well, I derived hope from them and now I get to provide and hear, “out of the mouth’s of babes,” what I have already forgotten about early recovery. Thank you, this is a great reminder.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.