The Gift of Desperation

“I’ve heard people say that God is the gift of desperation, and there’s a lot to be said for having really reached a bottom where you’ve run out of any more good ideas or plans for everybody else’s behavior; or how to save and fix and rescue; or just get out of a huge mess, possibly of your own creation.” Anne Lamott

We all know plenty of people who say they want to stay clean and sober more than they want to live. They tell their story, as tears fall down a streak-marked face with sincerity. They mean it, but keep doing the same thing, expecting somehow it will be better this time. They want to grasp they are ready until someone suggests they try something different in the form of rehabilitation.

The gift of desperation comes to those who have the willingness to trust the process of recovery as if blind. It is a gift. An absolute, all-or-nothing proposition that persuades us of our need for sobriety, once and for all, one day at a time.

The only requirement is a desire to stop drinking. A willingness to take action and go any lengths is often paramount to success.

It can be referred to as extreme unction—a most spiritual of gifts reserved for those few who make a non-negotiable decision to choose recovery no matter what.  They agree they can never-ever go back to old behaviors that brought failure and soul-wrenching disappointment to themselves and those they love.

What does the gift of desperation mean?

  1. Complete and total surrender. The truth is—our way of doing life put us where we are today.  Pain prepares us to go the distance and do whatever is necessary to change our lives once and for all. There can be no reservations, no compromises of any kind.
  2. A resignation of the fact there are not enough drugs or booze to ease the pain of not using.  We are convinced that more of the same will make everything worse, because it does. Sooner or later, the end results are jails, institutions or death.
  3. No Half-Measures!  Half measures are how we lived our life! We justified, manipulated, and rationalized ourselves into our addiction.  We gave up who we thought we were and became liars, cheats, and thieves in the name of addiction. Without one thousand percent assurance the Gift of Desperation vanishes as soon as it appears.  Sobriety must be an all-or-nothing proposal.  No exceptions, no short-cuts.  Some people call this a “DO It Or Die,” proposition.  Recovery in our rooms allows us to see the results of individuals less dedicated who try to outwit, or outsmart their addictions their way.  The outcome is tragic.


How Do We Get to Keep the Gift of Desperation?

  1. By suspending what we think we know.
    Our best thinking, thus far, continues to keep us sick.
  2. By going to ANY lengths for our sobriety, without reservation or limitation
  3. By trusting the process of recovery; and
  4. By keep coming back into our sacred rooms of recovery.


Anyone can stay sober or receive the Gift of Desperation just for today, but it takes real guts and tenacity to stay the course for the long haul, one day at a time.

Do YOU have what it takes?

We all do. First, we must believe it, and then we have to find it deep within.  Those precious miracles we wish for will fall like shooting stars. A life of peace and serenity we so desperately sought is achievable with the death of our addictions. And it’s waiting for you.



1 thought on “The Gift of Desperation”

  1. I thank God for giving me the gift of desperation!! I thought it’d never come. Today I do live one day at a time. Today I’m free from the bondage of addiction to alcohol and drugs. My recovery comes first today. Thanks for having this reading material available to me today. It’s very helpful for me in my recovery.

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