By Barbara Nicholson Brown


Hope is one of my favorite words. It reminds me to believe and trust something way greater than myself has the divine plan, and without it I would be doomed.

When I was active in addiction, hope meant nothing more than “hoping to get out of a jam;  I hope to get away with the lies; hope I don’t get caught; hope no one saw me in such a state of oblivion; hope I don’t lose my job and so on.” For all the hoping I did — my life was dark and shadowy. From losing any type of connection to my friends and family, employment, or a place to live… everyone was simply tired of my empty promises to change and simply lost hope with me.


Why some of us make it in recovery and why others don’t is a harsh reality. Being shackled to the bottle, drugs or any other addiction are tough chains to break — but it can be done.


At the start of my journey, the most I could hope for a was a glimmer, a sliver of something better. I was offered hope by people who were on the path ahead of me, and I started to believe and trust them. Being clean and sober was uncharted territory, I was scared. Maybe hope was growing within, micro-inch by micro-inch.


Like any human being; many things I’ve hoped for did not turn out ‘my’ way. There have been major losses and changes, pain, tears and quite a few ‘WTF’s’?


I am still learning it’s up to me how I approach the challenges, it’s up to me to share my story and reality, it’s up to me to ask for help whenever I get lost or stuck. It’s up to me to never give up hope.


– Barbara