I attended an AA meeting this morning at the local high school. It was unusual in that it was mainly folks older than myself; not a lot of youngsters. These pigeons–just teasing–all had 15, 19, 24 years of sobriety!
The topic was hope. As I got to thinking about that, I realized something I have always believed about hope: it’s overrated. While it certainly has its place in life (I hope he gets better. I hope she gets the job. I hope the weather is nice tomorrow), for me in my sobriety and as a topic of AA, it suggests inactivity to me. According to Wikipedia, hope means:
Hope is an optimistic attitude of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes related to events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large. As a verb, its definitions include: “expect with confidence” and “to cherish a desire with anticipation”.
It is wonderful to have hope. It is wonderful to hope. However, in my recovery hope is an easy way out. It requires no action from me. It is not enough to have hope. It is an “expectation of positive outcomes” and when you expect something, sometimes those expectations can result in frustration. Pregnant women can be “expectant,” recovering alcoholics shouldn’t be.
Anyway…I’ve been trying to think of something that can replace the word hope as a more definitive term in language in my recovery. For now I think that word is going to be strategy. According to Wikipedia strategy means
Now that’s more like it! It is a plan. The definition is followed by “to achieve.” I like achieving! And finally, “goals under conditions of uncertainly.” Under uncertainty. It wouldn’t be a strategy if the conditions were certain. Perfect! If I ever do speak at an AA meeting, I will discuss strategy. Today I have a strategy for wellness. Today, I am strategizing my recovery. My approach to sobriety is strategic!
And, if that is how I approach my recovery, if I have written down ways I am going to remain sober, if I design a strategy, then my expectation is that I will continue to achieve results! I will continue to achieve success! When I am working through an issue or an obstacle I am strategizing! I am actively taken the reigns of my sobriety, so hope is great, having a strategy is better for me.
What would be another word for active recovery for you? I am not sure strategy is going to remain the key word for me. I would be very interested to hear what you might have to say is a great word as a mantra for being in active, productive recovery!