I was at a meeting yesterday and the topic was, as read from the chapter “We Agnostics” out of the Big Book of AA, the Higher Power as you understand Him/it…
I always love the ego involved in those who won’t (for whatever reason) grasp the concept of a Higher Power. You want to hear an overuse of ‘I’ or ‘me’, just sit back and smile.
I had my fill of “I” and “me” yesterday.
When I sobered up, at my first meeting out of treatment, one old-timer said something to the effect of, “It’s bumpy. Best to grab your ass with both hands and hold on for the ride”.
Who has two thumbs and was grabbin’ cheek?
Twenty-five years ago, I’m sitting in the top bunk of a treatment center bedroom, shaking, sweating and hurting. DT’s suck.
Anyway, I’m laying up there in that top freaking bunk and life is sucking pretty bad. I’ve got enough trouble piled up that the whole entire State of Michigan decided I should sober up. I’d been through two weeks of groups at that point and the topic of a Higher Power came up in quite a few of them. Many of the counselors and other patients I spoke with told me believing in a Higher Power would help me stay sober, based on the instruction part of The Big Book (the first 164 pages). I had a problem with that, though. Being a Catholic from Confirmation, I was pretty sure God didn’t want much to do with me after how I lived the last six years of my life. I figured I was in a Fire and Brimstone time out.
So there I am and true as the saying is about atheists and foxholes, I begged for God (as I understood God at the time) for a deal. I’d give sobriety everything I had if He’d help me get through it. Twenty minutes before that was the last time I wanted to get drunk more than I wanted to stay sober.
When I made my decision to sober up, for real (that would be up in that top bunk) and made my deal with my Higher Power, I accepted that I didn’t know what I was doing when it came to sobering up. The best I’d done prior was two weeks, and they were two miserable weeks! I needed to be teachable, so I stowed my ego away and let others who knew better than I how to stay sober, teach me. I did as they said and I managed to put a few 24 hours together. I cleaned up the wreckage of my past to a point where life didn’t suck so bad. Then I got to a point where I didn’t want to have to go through all of that shit again and had something to work for, to stay sober for…
To this day I still remain teachable because as I grow in my sobriety, I run into situations that I don’t necessarily know how to handle. I take those situations to friends (usually my sponsor) and try to figure out the right way to handle them.
See, here’s the problem; We know that our problems are of our own making, for the most part, and that our lives using alcohol or drugs were based almost entirely on self-will run riot, right? Right. Folks, if my whole problem is a life lived on self-will run riot, the last thing I want to use to fix that is more self-will. This is why something greater than me worked where I failed. Miserably. Every time.
I can’t relate to those who think they’re so great that they don’t have to remain teachable.