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  • Writer's pictureMike and Glenn

The Gift of Desperation

des·per·a·tion /ˌdespəˈrāSH(ə)n/ noun

“a state of despair, typically one which results in rash or extreme behavior.”

Something supernatural happens when we find ourselves with our backs up against the wall. Extreme examples have a name; ‘hysterical strength” - a spontaneous, extraordinary event that occurs when a person faces a highly or heightened distressful, life-threatening situation, and in such displays well beyond normal physical strength, like when a parent finds a child trapped under the weight of a vehicle.

Our journey toward recovery started with a moment of extreme despair. We found ourselves trapped under the weight of a shattered existence. To survive the calamity we had created, we needed a miraculous intervention. We needed the seemingly impossible to turn possible. Frankly, we didn’t know what we needed. We just knew we needed something. We were desperate.

This post could become an endorsement of surrender and the need for spiritual force in times of desperation. Though we have written much on these topics, today, we want to touch on the real gift that desperation has delivered.

Through a deep understanding of where we came from, we find a grand appreciation of where we are. It is in this appreciation that we discover the practice of thankfulness. And it is by thankfulness that we comprehend the boon of hope.

You see, that parent who pulled the child from under the automobile will never look at that child, or life for that matter, the same. Understanding that life was extracted from the grip of death forever moves that parent to a place from which they can't return. A new frame overcomes everybody involved. What was thought impossible becomes possible. New moments of life are unwrapped like packages on Christmas morning.

As our newfound lives unfold, we embrace the miraculousness. Gratitude is our knee-jerk. And as thankfulness does not coexist well with thanklessness, we find ourselves rooted in an appreciation. As we have seen and now believe, we are left hopeful that anything is possible – That events can turn, relationships can heal, and situations can change.

We also find ourselves accepting of where things sit - embracing the life we have been given.

The irony is found in the fact that all we wanted, at first, was a return to “normal. “The reality is that normal never returned. Instead, we were given a new beginning, a new life of awesomeness, and the hope of a much better future.

Today, we smile a bit brighter. We hug a little tighter. We live slightly stronger. We believe a lot more.

May we all learn to let desperation turn into delight.


Thoughts and ideas for this blog post were taken and built upon from a podcast #129 A Love Story Part 2 - Karen and Bruce … the episode dropped on 9/13/2023 Click here to hear the podcast.


Alcoholics Anonymous and AA are registered trademarks of Alcoholics World Service. Inc. References to AA, the 12 steps, and 12 traditions does not mean that AA has reviewed or approved the contents of this publication nor that AA agrees with the views expressed herein. This publication is intended to support personal growth and should not be considered a substitute for healthcare professionals' advice. The author’s advice and viewpoints are their own.


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