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Beside Restful Waters

“I borrow from someone else until I can generate it myself.”


At the depth of my active addiction I wallowed in a sense of hopelessness.

From my eyes, people all around me were living life with a sense of joy and purpose. My focus was on my next opportunity to use. When I used, I experienced a lonely awareness of …………….?








The only way to stop the pain was to use. BUT the pain returned almost immediately. I had no hope. I cried out.

My cry was heard, and I found myself connected to a man who was living life with a sense of joy and purpose and sobriety. I met him 19 years ago.

What has changed?

During a recent discussion there was an expression of hopelessness. Then, anonymous shared the thought stated above.

I borrow from someone else until I can generate it myself.

Here we were, surrounded by angels, sages, and people of great wisdom. We were right here in Fond du Lac sitting in a circle. We walk among each other. We live in our heaven – our homes, studios, workplaces, streets – we are all around each other. I simply have to see you, hear you, touch you.

I simply have to see you, hear you, touch you.

What is there within me that keeps me isolated and blind to you? What is there that makes me prefer the pain to the hope?

Reaching out to you is a huge risk – I must leave the comfort of the familiar. Yes, my pain is familiar. I find a security in my pain. The voice of my pain is friendly. Yet, there is my sick sense of hopelessness that keeps me dancing on this dangerous edge of vulnerability. I tip toe around this pond of hope not quite willing to step in.

Personally, it took that first connection, and he threw the water in my face. He was in the pond playing like a crazy fool, enjoying the water, laughing and inviting me to join him. Finally, he splashed me – really it was a full embrace, a hug that screamed of his love for life and sobriety. It was his courage to share his scars, those wounds that were healing. Some scars were fully healed, others were scabbing over, others were bleeding. Yet, there he was, celebrating his journey, his joy, his purpose, his hope of knowing scabs would heal and bleeding would stop.

What was his secret??????

It was no big secret! It was his connection to others who, 25 years earlier had dragged his hopeless butt into the pond.

Like anonymous said, he borrowed someone else’s’ hope, day after day, week after week, hug after hug, scar after scar, until he noticed that his own hope was growing. He was learning a new language in that pond.

My addict has his own language – it is a language of deception, lies, fears, shame, shame, shame, deception, lies, fears, shame……….. I began to learn a new language as I borrowed from others.


The transformation requires time in a cocoon. It requires breaking free from the language of hopelessness as I crawl around on the ground. It requires the miracle of transformation. It requires that I take bits and pieces of hope from each flower I hang from or land on and feast on them until I generate my own wings, find my own air currents, and begin to enjoy the wind.

How do your scars look?

Where are you in your transformation?

Caterpillar, cocoon, butterfly?

What language are you speaking?

Deception, fear, loneliness, pain?

Encouragement, hope, acceptance?

I have to stop dancing around the edge of vulnerability and dive in, or touch my toe, or accept the water that someone throws in my face.

I have everything to gain. You are there to encourage, guide, push, hug.

Thank you.

I need you, always.

Splish Splash


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