With every crisis, you’ve got a decision to make: Are you going to live there, or are you just visiting?
Since the descent upon us of the modern plague, aka, COVID 19, we may all feel as though we’re living there—in the thick of the crisis, with no escape. And to an extent, we are, at least as long as the virus continues its grip on society.
However, there is still a way to avoid “living there” in every facet and moment of our lives. While the attack on us is very real, and the effects devastating, we can “escape” by limiting our exposure to constant bad news, and instead, infusing our minds and hearts with hope.
This past week, a British poet named Tom Roberts released a short film/poem titled The Great Realisation: Hindsight 2020. In it, a man reads a bedtime story to his son that tells the tale of our current crisis through the eyes of the future. While the story of the virus is still devastating, there are lessons to be learned, ones that put us in touch with our humanity, empathy, kindness, and gratitude.
Millions loved the piece, feeling it offered some measure of hope in these most desperate of times. I’d agree, but I see something more, and that is the decision Roberts made to not live in the state of despair that’s so understandable given this unprecedented challenge. Roberts chose to imagine hope, and while some may say easy enough for him—he’s not elbow deep in the struggle, we can still appreciate the conscious effort to look towards tomorrow with hopeful eyes.
When dealing with a loved one’s addiction, hope may frequently be in short supply, especially when we’ve been hoping for so long, only to be disappointed by the latest relapse or the most recent destructive episode.
Yet, we must learn to look at our loved one’s addiction as a part of our story, not the entire story. While we cannot cure addiction, we can refuse to let it define us. We can carve out space for ourselves that is not completely overshadowed by the specter of addiction. We can look towards tomorrow with hopeful eyes—eyes that see other things besides addiction.
To be sure, it’s not easy, especially since many addicts go in and out of active addiction for years, taking their unwilling families along for the ride. Yet, that’s all the more reason to find space—YOUR space—whether it’s at work, through a hobby, a friendship, a solid relationship with another family member, to nurture hope, happiness, and especially peace.
If addiction is part of your life, you can’t just walk away, at least not permanently.
But you can decide to “just visit” that place, not living there permanently, and finding at least some hope in the tomorrows to come.
Mary Fran Bontempo is a 2x TEDx speaker, author and humorist. Visit her at www.maryfranbontempo.com.
Her latest book, “The 15 Minute Master—How to Make Everything Better 15 Minutes at a Time,” can be found on Amazon.