My morning began a little rough. I’m not sure what it is about stumbling that makes me feel like an idiot, but this morning I was feeling rather negative and doubting in any kind of hope. But I tend to be the kind of person that accepts empirical evidence as proof for something – maybe others would claim it’s simple psychology. But, I think I’m getting to a point in my life, that my ability to understand God or a Higher Power is a silly endeavor. The bottom line is that I can’t disprove or prove, in my own mind, the existence of a God. And I have noticed, when I make an attempt at living in a spiritual manner, then I tend to steer clear of drinking.
I remember a time, many years ago, when I embraced my catholicity and would argue with people online about the authenticity of God and I had a “friend” at the time that would mock me and ridicule my belief and faith. But, for some reason, deep down, I just knew…I just felt that this God had to be true. Granted, my beliefs at the time were integrated with my upbringing, my ability to listen and learn, my desires to research and find answers on my own. Unfortunately, I had little understanding of myself or what was truly locked within me and suppressed deep down inside – a genuine lack of faith.
The thing is, I can’t disbelieve in a God. I have no more proof than the pope or some other religious leader, but I have realized something about spiritual living that I can’t ignore either. When I push myself down that path, there have been improvements. Have I done this perfectly? No, of course not, but what is perfection anyways? I know there are times that I truly miss the ball, and there is proof of that in the way I keep relapsing. But, I also have to admit that the times I have relapsed, whatever crisis, or overblown emotional reaction I am having, is coupled with a lack of a focus that comes with relying on a Higher Power – or God. I quit seeing my need for a God and assume I can handle my problems. A concept I’ve heard in AA (alcoholics anonymous) meeting referred to as “self-will run riot”.
I won’t lie and claim I have this all figured out, because I don’t, but I have accepted that I am an alcoholic. Easily, my past few relapses have shown me as someone that has lost the power of choice over drink. I can’t have one, because it’s too many; but any more than one is never enough to make me feel better. I have found that the relapses have me thinking and feeling like the ways others in AA meetings have described, and although I still have the “yets“, I’m well on my way to something stupid.
But, as I look at my drinking experiences in recent relapses, they have all shown that I was lacking something – my Higher Power. I stopped attending meetings, I stopped reading the Big Book, I stopped praying. I haven’t gotten very far into step-work yet (usually, I get hung up and relapse around step 4 or 5), I haven’t been able to cross the 90-day threshold, but I can still see that I am successful when I am actively pursuing a spiritual life.
I had someone on Twitter suggest to me that maybe I needed to quit trying so hard to be spiritual and allow spirituality to happen to me. It seemed to go along with what someone else said when she suggested surrendering to my situation. And, then I look at the reality of it all. I have had so many people encourage me and so many people praise my efforts. I suppose this will work, if I allow it.
This morning, I felt like there was no point in trying to stop drinking. Yesterday, when I was drinking again out of frustration with my life and my job, I decided that there was no way I could handle my life, if I could have beer. And I woke up this morning feeling utterly devoid of interest in anything, but I rolled out of bed and I rolled onto the floor and came to my knees and leaned over my bed and said,
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Please, God, keep me sober today. Help me to understand your will for my life – not for my own glory, but for Yours.”