“When we sincerely took such a position, all sorts of remarkable things followed. We had a new Employer. Being all powerful, He provided what we needed, if we kept close to Him and performed His work well. Established on such a footing we became less and less interested in ourselves, our little plans and designs. More and more we became interested in seeing what we could contribute to life.” -Alcoholics Anonymous, p.63
Admittedly, it is very difficult to understand something that we haven’t gone through ourselves. Someone who has never felt the paralyzing effects of severe clinical depression will never truly understand it. They might think, Oh they’re just choosing not to get out of bed because they’re f’ing lazy. At the same time, someone with major depression is not doomed, nor do they require medication to lift their depression and function properly once again.
It’s the same with addiction. People who are non-addicts cannot truly understand what it’s like to experience having ZERO power over drugs and alcohol. At the same time, they may not know what it’s like to have undergone a profound and fundamental change. It is a common perception that sober addicts will forever be teetering on the edge of relapse, forever fending off an undying desire to drink and use drugs. I’ve even been told by some guy at an AA meeting that if I could take a magic pill and be able to drink recreationally like a normal person, then I most certainly would. That was a guy who hasn’t had a spiritual experience.
The above quote summarizes exactly what happened to me. Once I dropped this lifelong belief that it was only me out there and that I was the only power that could fix me, everything changed. Once we drop our arrogance, our pride and our ego, we become open. Thoroughly and fearlessly taking Steps removed the poison that kept me locked in the darkness, and once it was removed, there was room to let something else come in and fill the empty space.
I get that it is hard to intellectualize this notion of letting go of my self will to instead be ‘directed’ by God’s will. But it is real and it is possible. Once I gave my whole self to this process, I finally understood what it meant. If we get out of our own way, something much greater and wiser and more powerful than us becomes our ‘driver’, so to speak. When we stop trying to direct and control our own lives, the result is nothing short of a miracle.
And remarkable things indeed follow.
Though I left treatment after having a white-light experience, I came home to a war zone of broken relationships, tens of thousands in debt, no job, and a still emaciated and broken body. But I continued the Step process and fought hard to build a new foundation based on spiritual principles. And I was provided with what I needed. And it’s true that we can become less and less interested in ourselves and our selfish needs, wants and desires. In fact, my favorite thing to do still 8 years later is to help others.
Sure I am still the most selfish idiot that I know, but the point of this ridiculous post is that this DOES work. We can recover, grow new minds, heal our spirits, and never suffer from the thought or desire to drink or use drugs ever again.
God, keep me close to You today…