By Sarah Brookings, MA, LPC

It is hope that gives life meaning. And hope is based on the prospect of being able one day to turn the actual world into a possible one that looks better.  —Francois Jacob

The word hope typically brings with it an emotional connotation, a visceral response that, for most, brings peace and relief. For families with a loved one who is struggling with the disease of addiction, hope sometimes feels like a far-and-away concept that will never come close. The seemingly endless cycle of addiction can perpetuate feelings of hopelessness and helplessness that often paralyze a families’ progress in pointing their loved one toward the hope of recovery.

As a trained and licensed therapist, I am well aware of the life-changing impact that hope has on an individual seeking treatment, or a burned-out family trying to find one more treatment program. Instilling hope, particularly when the road ahead seems dark, can be the most healing and significant piece of the recovery process, for both families and individuals. For me, hope is best defined as putting my belief into something greater than myself, daring to believe that change is possible. Hope is having confidence in the belief that, despite current circumstances or situations, something greater and better exists.

During the admissions process at MARR, I walk with wounded parents, spouses and individuals who have gained and lost hope countless times in their lives. They are desperate to believe in recovery, yet terrified to vocalize their fear of the disease. Each day I work with clients, it is becoming increasingly apparent that mental illness issues and addictions are more complex, more deadly, and more prevalent than ever. Each day, I read statistics, research and journal articles touting information that espouses the belief that long-term recovery, statistically speaking, is not possible for everyone. And each day that I come to work at MARR, I choose to believe otherwise.

I choose to believe in the men, women and families I assess who represent the hope of recovery and sobriety, and each day I diligently point hurting people toward that same hope.