Spiritual Principle a Day

October 04, 2023
Hope and a New Way Forward
Page 287
"Hope begins when we think that it might be possible for us to stop using against our own will and stay clean."
Living Clean, Chapter 7, "Living Our Principles"

By the time many of us show up to our first meeting, we have broken the trust of many people in our lives. For some of us, there wasn't a single person left in our lives who would believe us even if we told them the sun rises in the east. No matter how many people we burned in active addiction, over and over again, one person was more likely than any to be skeptical of anything we said—ourselves.

This is one of the huge stumbling blocks that stops many of us from truly feeling hope when we first get clean. We know ourselves! We can't be trusted. Sometimes people in our lives looked at the way we used and accused us of having no willpower, but the truth of the matter was that we had so much self-will that we had lost all freedom to choose. There was no space between our impulses and our actions. Getting clean? Sure, no problem—we can do that just fine; that is, just until we feel like using. Then, all bets are off.

One of the most courageous things we have to do in order to get clean is to allow a little bit of hope into our spirit, defying all of the evidence to the contrary we have amassed in our active addiction. People who use the way we use don't get clean. But then, we find ourselves in rooms filled with people who used the way we used. And they're clean . . . allegedly. Maybe, is it possible?

Self-will, impulsive behavior, obsession, and compulsion—even though many of us came to NA blaming the world around us for our problems, a lot of us felt, deep down, that we were too flawed to have the lives we wanted. In NA, we found people with flaws just as deep as ours, and they taught us how to become free.

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It's hard to see a way forward when I am standing in my own way. I will let other addicts show me how to step aside and find a way out.