March 22, 2011

The Power of Hope

Day 81: 22.0 miles/1:15

”Hope is the last defense against quitting; when hope is lost everything else is too.”

This probably serves as the least inspirational quote in one of my posts.  When he was dying of cancer, former basketball coach Jimmy Valvano used to say “don’t give up, don’t ever give up.”  In the face of enormous odds, resignation is preceded by a loss of hope.  The desire to fight on is a byproduct of maintaining hope when there is nothing else to hold on to.

In my quest to understand that which cannot be understood – the mind of an addict – one of the things I have learned is that addicts are the masters of a loss of hope.  They get to some point in their lives where being numb is more productive than forcing themselves to take one step forward to face more pain, frustration, or hurt.  They become dead inside because they have completely lost hope.  Through a series of events in their lives they have lost their passion, their purpose, and their sense of self.  As a result, being high is the safest place to be.  There is no hope.

How many times have you had a conversation with someone who, though they may not be addicts, have felt so much loss, failure and disappointment that they simply cannot see any opportunity for something different in their life?  This is their loss of hope.  Loss of hope is a loss of everything for all that left is a belief you have nothing.   Hope is our last defense against quitting.  Never lose hope.

My biggest challenge with Brandon is continually helping him to see the promise of his future.  The first step in this vision is to help him discover where the positive energy is in his life.  It is that positive energy is what helps him see a glimpse of what is possible.  Becoming aware of what is possible allows him to re-discover who he is and where his passion lies.  Once he becomes aware, he becomes more present to the times he has this experience and enables him to see and feel it more and more often.  This is the foundation for re-discovering hope.  Once he starts to see and feel something positive and real, he can begin to let go of his mindset that there is no hope; and, he can finally let go of the pain he is hanging on to.

Regardless of what is going on in our lives or our past experiences and failures, we must never lose sight of who we are and what our passion and purpose are.  Hope is not a strategy and we cannot win on hope alone; however, without hope we have nothing left to fight against quitting.  Never lose hope – never give up.

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About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.