Hope is distinctly a feeling of trust, where everything will be all right. It emerges as a future sentiment, one that can never be true for my son. Recovery from addiction is not possible for Cody, because he didn’t make it, so there is no hope he will find sobriety. Caring, hoping, and trusting feel risky to me, because there will just be disappointment. Sometimes it feels easier to shut down my emotions and accept the hopelessness of my circumstances.
Perhaps hope was offered to me; whether Cody was sober, deep in his addiction, on the streets, in jail, in treatment or even in his death, but I didn’t fully understand where it dwelt. My hope rested in Cody’s sobriety, which often felt hopeless, and seldom in my own serenity. There was always so much worry, obsession, anxiousness, and doubt, even in his short stretches of sobriety.
I believe hope created the opportunity for me to seek my own recovery and find serenity, amid the hopelessness of my son’s addiction.
What do I mean by my own recovery ? I mean being content with knowing I did everything possible for Cody to help him recover from his addiction. It is letting go of the illusion that I alone had the power to save him, and that I caused him to be addicted. It is living with this tragic disease and ultimately finding meaning and purpose in my life, no matter my circumstances.
My recovery involves staying in the moment and not lamenting the past or worrying about the future. It is about acceptance, humility, forgiveness, and taking care of myself. Serenity comes from trusting everything is as it should be and will be all right, which sounds a lot like hope to me.
The truth is I grieved the loss of Cody long before his death. I am not sure he would have found peace on this earth anyway. Addiction stole my son from me, but I don’t want it to rob me of my hope or pick-pocket my dreams. It won’t keep me from claiming the present moment or living my purpose, even in my sadness.
There is positively hope in the hopeless, and I trust it is and always has been in my own recovery, even when it feels risky to trust it.
Mary Cucarola, October 2015