Hope is strong. It has the power to push a lost person onward to face another day, bring a broken soul back from the cusp of death, or be that life raft when it feels like things are at the absolute worst. Hope is magical and powerful, yet hope alone cannot change the world. I can hope all day long for everyone I love, but in the end my hope cannot cure a disease; it cannot fix all that is fractured inside someone’s mind and soul. But if I get frustrated or angry and let go of hope, then what do I have left? My answer is simple: not a whole lot.
Chad has not been great for the past few months. He is at a crossroads in his life, one I can only understand to a certain degree, but that I can feel down into the pit of my stomach. So many lies. So many excuses. So much chaos and confusion. It is a battle of his own making, a storm of his own creation. It is frustrating to watch, but as I’ve mentioned before I cannot and will not give up on him.
I text him almost everyday: Hope today was alright. ❤
And I really do mean it. I am not trying to be sneaky and use it as a bait text to see if he responds, guilty of that many times in the past, but to truly let him know I am here and I am not going anywhere. I mention him every morning and night in my talks with my HP, and not the old: Dear God, please make Chad get sober like for real this time! I’ll go to church and be good. Thanks, Chelsea.
It is just more sending energy his way, letting him know people are still pulling for him no matter how much he may act like an a-hole when he is using. This is also a way for me to keep my Hope Muscle swole. If I give up optimism in his sobriety, I give up on his life in my eyes. He turned 29 last week which is far more years than too many of these young kids get to see who are losing their life on the daily to drugs. I do honestly feel, and he knows it too, that his purpose is to be of service to young people in recovery. He shines his absolute brightest when he is sponsoring and walking the walk of his program. He is happy, joyous, and free. I choose to keep that Chad in my mind, with a promise to see that person resurface once more in the near future, and stay that way for his life.
My hope is also something which is constantly challenged. By everyday people and events, to the real, raw, major issues facing our country and the world as a whole. I sincerely cannot watch the local news because it makes my head spin off the track, that was simply a choice I made for myself awhile back. It doesn’t mean I bury my head in the sand; reading the news gives me far less anxiety, so I travel that route instead. Yet I digress, so bringing it back down to my tiny life bubble, Chad challenges my hope all the time. My brain has a far easier time seeing me speak his eulogy than celebrating at his wedding. That kills me. I hate it with absolute conviction. However, I also know that is not my true belief, rather that f*cker fear trying to cripple me and snatch my positive mindset.
So what to do when my hope thread is threatened? I used to cry some, maybe leave my hope by the side of the road for a bit, get a ‘lil angry. Sometimes that is still the tempting behavior, but mostly these days I just take a few deep breaths, close my eyes, and picture Chad the way I wish he will find himself again. That big smile, bright eyes, and a heart bigger than the Grinch’s on Christmas Day. So full of life and (you guessed it!) HOPE. Plus, my mum finishing up every discussion/text we share about him with, “I just am going to keep hope.” which helps to keep its place it in the front of my mind.
I know my mum and I’s hope is not enough to keep him sober, nothing is except himself wanting to live that way, but I’ve also lived and learned that existing in hope far exceeds being hopeless. That is a sad, black hole feeling of endless despair. Plus, I would be crying so much it would be totally draining, it’s absolute misery. A life I cannot lead, especially now being a role model for Andy.
I always liked this quote by Richard Paul Evens, “It is often in the darkest skies that we see the brightest stars.” That little optimist in me agrees and also prefers that sparkly light at the end of the tunnel, and understand without the darkness of the surrounding underpass, guess there would be no light to see. I have told Chad, “I have seen you turn your entire life around in less than two weeks, you know exactly what to do if you choose to do it.” Today at least, I choose to not let the darkness of addiction rob me of my dream for Chad living a happy life.
I will keep hope for you, brother, because at this point there is nothing else I can do. Know that you are loved, regardless of what you do or have done, and that I am cheering from your corner of the ring. You just have to want to continue the fight for yourself. Whether it be celebrating your life if this disease does end up taking you, or toasting you at your wedding (clearly with sparkling cider) I will forever credit you with showing me how to live in hope, the true power it holds, and how to muster up the courage to find it again if I let it go. You’ve done more for me than you may ever know, even if you are a giant turd at times, I am incredibly grateful for the gift of eternal optimism and promise.
To anyone else struggling: keep ahold of that hope, even if it is only by the tiniest thread left. Days will get better, believe that, work for it, and see that light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. We are all worth it.
Be Good, Do Good.