“The greatest element of desperation is that it forces action.”
Often when people hear the word “desperation” they think of it as a bad thing, but it can actually be exactly what someone needs to change their life around. Desperation can be a gift.
Those that are struggling with the disease of alcohol or substance abuse can benefit the most from desperation. At the beginning everything is going great, you feel good and you’re having fun. You tell yourself it’s really not affecting you that much and you can quit anytime you want to. Before you know it, reality sets in and things start to unravel.
Imagine an example of a teenage addict, why would they possibly want to stop drinking or using drugs when they haven’t had any serious life consequences yet? For now everything is still just fun and their bodies are still healthy.
As you get older however, now you’re thinking about quitting your addiction, but you’re not really serious about it and in the meantime things continue to get worse. Another 6 months have passed and you don’t even know how you got to this point. When you’re at your lowest point, you get to hit rock bottom; a hidden gift of desperation.
When a person has “hit bottom,” they give up the unwillingness and resistance to change. They become willing to try something uncomfortable or unknown, even if they don’t believe it will work. When we are desperate, we become willing to admit we need help and that we can’t do it alone. With the desperation mindset the addicted person is much more responsive to seeking help and following support suggestions.
“When you’re in despair, you’re teachable” – Anne Lamott
Before you hit desperation you thought what you were doing was not so bad or that everything would work itself out in time and that’s just not true. Desperation wakes you up and gets you to tell yourself that you need to make serious changes in your life or things are only going to get worse.
It is nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about, you finally realized that there is no more waiting around for things to happen, you have to make them happen. Your life is going to change for the better and you’re done with the old bad habits.
This is why desperation is such a gift, it causes things to happen. It’s not just something that those in recovery can benefit from, it’s something that any of us stuck in a rut could benefit from.
Desperation, like hitting bottom, is more emotional than physical and everyone has a different bottom. You don’t actually have to hit complete bottom to be desperate, desperation is a mindset that anyone can choose to have.
Those big bad problems that happened to you, that you thought were the worst things a the time, could’ve really been one of the best things to ever happen to you. The past is the past and we are focused on improving our futures. The obstacle becomes the gift, with every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition.