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Why I Believe in a Power Greater Than Myself in Recovery; And Why We Call That Power God


February 2023

We choose to call our Higher Power God to keep it simple.

Now, if you’re having a hard time believing, believe that I do and start there.

And here’s why.

I’ve always been a Catholic boy and man. Not necessarily a good one, but one nonetheless. Now, you can look at that two ways: a) a good thing because I knew there was a God and I wasn’t it. b) a bad thing because, dude, I was Catholic. I still don’t know how all that fire and brimstone stuff fits with my pathetically imperfect understanding of love after having two kids… and if my love is imperfect and I feel as I do about my girls, I don’t quite get that “God is angry and vengeful” thing.

Anyway, I’m not going to get lost in the weeds over religion. It is what it is and I begrudge no one their peaceful beliefs.

When I was just a week into recovery, I had every intention of going back to it when I was free from treatment. Several days later, I had an epiphany in the middle of my delirium tremens (DTs for short); I was meant for more than that kind of life. I was meant for more than constantly battling with the law, being a three, four and five-time loser… or worse, eventually finding myself dead or in prison. My liver doesn’t work like most and I abused the shit out of it – in recovery, I’ll live a long and healthy life. Using, my liver can’t handle what my hands can pick up.

I asked God for a deal; I’d give recovery everything I had if he’d help me with the constant pull to escape through alcohol. I woke up the next day with my urge to use gone. This was nothing short of a very small miracle. I hadn’t taken a breath of free air like that in years. And I kept up my end of the bargain.

Fast forward 29 years and I came to understand, through a series of small but significant realizations, that I’d been far too selfish and self-centered in my life. My wife, and eventually our kids, deserved better. I started making changes, and my wife followed suit almost immediately thereafter. Our marriage is unrecognizable from a year ago. The love and care we have for each other is absolutely astonishing… and that led to Wednesday.

My position with the company I’d been with for twenty-five years was terminated. I was completely blindsided. For the first time in my adult life, I was without work and had no idea what I’d do next. I drove home in a haze of doubt and fear. I called my wife and let her know, then called my sponsor and got his voicemail. When I got home, my wife wife was more supportive than I could have hoped for and we talked things out.

My phone rang for the first time three hours after I was given the news and I was asked if I’d like a position overseeing the project I’d been on for the last eight months, but as a superintendent in charge of the company that had just let me go. The next day, two more opportunities were offered. By yesterday afternoon we had the details worked out on the first offer and we’re getting paperwork exchanged so I can start next week. My wife, in tears yesterday when the new company ordered my company shirts and jacket, put her hands on my cheeks and said, “I am so proud to be your wife.”

She also pointed out, rightly, that she didn’t know if this would have gone as smoothly if we hadn’t made all those changes since last March.

I don’t know what’s in store for me or how things will shake out, but the odds of all of this working out exactly as it did are astronomical enough that I still have a hard time believing it…

Then again, my life has gone like that for 30-years. The more I simply try to follow the path God lays out, the better off I am.

And, to put a bow on this, I don’t pretend to have an inkling of what God’s will would be. I do what’s right in my heart and hope that’s it. And this is my prayer: God, this is the path I think You want me on, so I’m going to take it. If this isn’t the right one for me, please put some roadblocks in there so You can get me to where I belong. Oh, and if You would, please make those roadblocks big. I tend to miss the small ones.

Is believing in God ignorant, as some claim? Well, if that’s what you say, ignorance is bliss, baby. I’m okay with that.



  1. elisariva says:

    Try enlightened! Thank you for being so transparent. On the Catholic front, check out Father Mike Schmitz at Ascension Press. He has two podcasts that lead in most downloaded on Apple. Be well,brother.

  2. niall says:

    That line where you simply state you’ve just lost your job of 25 years sent a cold shiver up my back! Seems outrageous that it can happen so quick and with no warning. Did you get a reason? Do you get redundancy payments in the US? I’m gobsmacked to be honest 😔

    Reading the rest of your post though leaves me with the clear view that you are well known within your area of expertise and that you are highly valued outside of your previous job. That is 100% due to your hard work and dedication over all those years. I’m delighted you have landed another job so quickly and that you seem excited about it too. Here’s to the future 👍

    • bgddyjim says:

      Thanks, brother. Completely blindsided. The company gave me two bonuses in the last six months. We are working out the details on a fair severance package, so I’ll be just fine. Nothing to retire on, but it’ll make the landing softer than expected. Thank you for your kindness and support, man. It’s been a rough week.

      The new company is huge and the opportunity is fantastic. I’m very excited, and they’re stoked too. It’s going to be a good fit.

  3. Lindao says:

    Gosh! Sorry you had to go through that. I wish the best for you!

  4. Uncoffined says:

    It sucks that you lost your job of twenty five years, but as you have discovered, it’s nothing to worry about,
    It’s just an unexpected journey.
    There is always work for honest people wanting a job.

  5. browney237 says:

    “Then again, my life has gone like that for 30-years. The more I simply try to follow the path God lays out, the better off I am.”
    I think that’s the way it is supposed to be.
    I hope and pray that your new position is a wonderful success.

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