Having Faith Helps in Recovery

“The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States, best known as the President who led the U.S. through World War II, often referred to by his initials, FDR (1882-1945)

Some of us aren’t religious. Others of us are. Still others are somewhere in-between, believing in something but not participating in any organized religion. That’s okay. We don’t have to be religious in order to have faith. So, with that out of the way, let’s talk about how having faith helps in recovery.

No one knows what tomorrow may bring. There is no fortune-teller or sage or mystic that can read the future for us. Even if there were such an individual, we are possessed of free will. What we need to keep first and foremost in our minds is that tomorrow will evolve out of the actions we take today.

Note that we stress the word “actions,” for recovery is all about actions, not words. We can say we’ll do something but if we fail to act upon our words, then our words are hollow. We’re just kidding ourselves and others, but mostly we’re sabotaging our own recovery efforts.

Naturally, we’re a little frightened about tackling tough tasks. Maybe we’re afraid that we won’t succeed, or, on the other hand, we’re secretly afraid that we will and then we’ll be unable to deal with our resultant success. The unknown is always a little scary, but that’s part of the challenge, isn’t it? The goals we set for ourselves and the plans we put down in order to achieve them have to be a bit of a stretch for them to make a lasting impression. If it’s too easy, then maybe we’re not really giving it our all.

Maybe what we need is to have the faith in ourselves that we can do it. After all, there isn’t anything that’s an absolute given in life. Nothing is going to be handed to us on a silver platter, least of all our sobriety. Effective long-term recovery is something that we have to work at each and every day. If we slack off, if we only pay lip service to our sobriety, we’re doing ourselves injustice and we’re certainly not living up to our commitment.

What about when we have achieved a certain amount of success? We may feel that we don’t deserve any more, or that we’re leery of challenging ourselves too much for fear of failure. Again, that’s where faith comes in. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but we do know that it very much depends on what we do today. We should expect to be challenged. We should also have faith that we’ll be able to meet those challenges and recognize the opportunities that arise from them.

Talk with our sponsor about how faith helped him or her in recovery. If a goal that we’ve set for ourselves seems unattainable, how do we learn from that and keep on growing? Where do we summon the courage to keep on going or wisdom to be able to figure out what to do next? Our sponsor, our loved ones and friends can be invaluable in our quest to find faith in ourselves. Let’s not be afraid to ask for their help, but let’s also ask for our Higher Power, or the god as we know Him, to help show us the way. Be comforted that if we ask for such help, we will receive it. When we have faith, we will always be able to move forward in recovery.