The Gift of Desperation

The Gift of Desperation
by Slim Gravy

"The Gift of Desperation: Painfully leaving on a jet plane, not knowing when I'd be back again, saved my life!"

“The Gift of Desperation: Painfully leaving on a jet plane, not knowing when I’d be back again, saved my life!”

“Desperate ills need desperate remedies.” – Agatha Christie

The Gift of Desperation is an unexpected, yet gilded consequence serving as a catalyst helping me acknowledge my need for more than I can provide!

Recently, when attending a Narcotics Anonymous meeting in Memphis, I heard a fellow addict (or person with addiction issues, if easier to swallow) share that he was thankful for the “Gift of Desperation.” Struck me hard.

Possibly the most important take away from my recent in-treatment was the following paraphrased statement by a Recovery Coach:

“When I realized life happens for me instead of to me, I began to improve, as did my attitude.”

My attitude is the most important variable in any room! If I can learn to accept responsibility or at least investigate my part in any actions occurring in my life, then I will be better able to deal with me, which is all I can deal with anyway.

The me portion of that statement seems inherently selfish, but I can’t fix others any more than I can fix myself, but with God’s help I can better embrace the simple injunctions in the Serenity Prayer: “God help me to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

If I will work on a better me and can learn to be at peace with what I cannot change and active in what I can, and with God’s help sagacious enough to know the difference, then the actions of others won’t consume me the way it has for decades.

God promises Peace to those who seek Him; I covet Peace above all things, so I need to seek Him by loving Him and others—really the only two things that matter.

Viewing Desperation as a gift enables me to be thankful for difficult things inherent in this temporal thing called life, prompting me to look outside myself for answers. I don’t have the answers and have only recently embraced that oft-times painful knowledge.

Sadly, I too often thought I was the smartest guy in the room and through treatment, an inability to “keep it, me, or anything together,” and the continuing refreshing comfort of sharing my vulnerabilities and flaws with like-minded folks in Recovery, I realize I was and still am about the dumbest sumbitch in tha room!

However, therein resides freedom, and with that newfound freedom, based in recognition of the ultimate blessing in the gift of Desperation, comes less fear of what others think of me and how I am performing. Desperation is truly a gift, if I will allow it to assist me in raising my eyes to Him who is above me and to the side where others stand ready to help me, and I hopefully them.

If desperation leads me to my leaning on something higher than myself, then the Gift of Desperation is truly a gift!

I am in Recovery from substance abuse, acute anxiety and depression. I wish not to hide it, am anxious to share how Recovery has saved my life, but I am guarded against the neophyte sharing what he has only begun to walk in this nascent state. I am aware of the importance of anonymity within the Recovery community at large, yet I feel compelled to share what I am learning and Madge has blessed it via this vehicle.

—Slim Gravy


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