Hope Beyond Hope

Hope Beyond Hope

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Recently during a noon meeting, we were reading Bill’s Story out of the Big Book of AA. The secretary stopped us about half way where Bill wrote, “A tumbler full of gin followed by half a dozen bottles of beer would be required if I were to eat any breakfast. Nevertheless, I still thought I could control the situation, and there were periods of sobriety which renewed my wife’s hope. Gradually things got worse.” We call people like this “beyond help.”

I’m learning about hope that is beyond hope. I’ve been in the program for five and a half years now. My wife and I are currently separated because of my behavior. She is returning home tomorrow from Arizona and doesn’t want me around at all. If she’s home, she doesn’t even want me working in the backyard garden. I am not welcome. Our relationship seems to be beyond hope.

I have a choice. It feels like I’m on a knife’s edge. On one side I decide to forget the program, forget sobriety, and turn to the insanity of acting out my sexaholism, trampling upon true union with people. On the other side is recovery, the real connection, and taking the urge to act out as a call to work on my program for recovery, healing, and freedom.

Today, I came to the noon meeting reluctantly. I had a text on my phone from a potential sex partner. I really wanted to interact with that person. I didn’t want to accept help from program fellows. I wanted easy relief. I craved the energy of the hunt. But, I took my body to the meeting.

There, I heard about Bill who seemed beyond hope. Thankfully, I read the story before so I know how it ends. “Hope Beyond Hope” for Bill was found in an enlarged spiritual life.

At the end of the story, Bill says, “My friend had emphasized the absolute necessity of demonstrating these principles in all my affairs. Particularly was it imperative to work with others as he had worked with me. Faith without works was dead, he said. And how appallingly true for the alcoholic! For if an alcoholic failed to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he could not survive the certain trials and low spots ahead. If he did not work, he would surely drink again, and if he drank, he would surely die. Then faith would be dead indeed. With us it is just like that.”

It seems that just when things are hopeless, God is able to do His most important work. There is a solution to lust—cunning, baffling, and powerful! It is God who could and would bring Hope Beyond Hope – if He were sought.

The Big Book also says, “Some of us have taken very hard knocks to learn this truth: Job or no job—wife or no wife—we simply do not stop drinking so long as we place dependence upon other people ahead of dependence on God.”

I’m working through this truth right now. I long for approval from others, whether it be from my wife, kids, or another person in the program. I place dependence on people ahead of dependence on God. I’m not there yet, but recognition of the problem is the first step toward taking action toward a solution. I am powerless to solve my problem. The only action an addict like me can take is surrender.

Surrender to God coupled with taking the actions of love is my Hope Beyond Hope. Just like Bill, if I fail to enlarge my spiritual life by working the program of recovery and self-sacrifice for others, my addict will take over, and I will act on my lust again.

Tim K., Washington, USA

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