Hope for those in recovery, those that are looking for recovery

Recently, Crossroads for Women‘s chief operating officer, Polly Haight Frawley, sent out an email to staff regarding some interesting stats on women in substance abuse treatment in Maine. According to Maine’s Office of Substance Abuse, women between the ages of 18 and 25 who entered treatment with opiates as the drug of choice increased by 32.4% from fiscal year 2006 to fiscal year 2008.

Polly also noted the results of a screening tool Crossroads for Women used to measure the prevalence of co-occurring mental health disorders. Of the 135 clients that completed the screening tool, 98.5% screened positive for a mental health history, 81.5% screened positively for a history of trauma and 97.8% screened positively for mental health and/or trauma and substance abuse. While these stats don’t surprise the staff at Crossroads for Women, they are still staggering numbers and are pretty representative of most adult women with substance abuse and/or mental health issues.

At the end of the email, however, staff was reminded of the success stories of our clients. How hearing their stories and witnessing their courage throughout treatment is inspiring to all of us. It gives us all hope that anyone can recover from addiction and other mental health issues. To quote Polly, “Hope surfaces frequently in this season and at Crossroads.”

The last part of the email was an inspirational quote from Vaclav Havel about hope. It certainly rings true for those in the recovery community.

HOPE by Vaclav Havel

Either we have hope within us or we do not. It is a dimension of the soul and is not essentially dependent on some particular observation of the world.

HOPE is an orientation of the spirit, an orientation of the heart. It transcends the world that is immediately experienced and is anchored somewhere beyond its horizons. HOPE in this deep and powerful sense is not the same as joy that things are going well or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously headed for early success, but rather an ability to work for something because it is good, not because it has a chance to succeed.

HOPE is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out. It is HOPE, above all which gives strength to live and continually try new things.

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