“Whether such a person can quit upon a nonspiritual basis depends upon the extent to which he has already lost the power to choose whether he will drink or not.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 34
Translation: If you are a really bad alcoholic or drug addict, you may have no chance unless you give your entire life to God.
I know what you may be saying,
Hey, sounds great and all but what does that even mean? How does one do that? How does that look?
Glad you asked, because giving our lives to God is actually quite specific and practical.
By the way, I often fail miserably at the following so please don’t take this the wrong way. I’ve said before and I’ll continue to say that when I write these blogs, I’m simply talking to myself. I’m the demented shithead that I refer to when describing addicts. Writing these blogs reminds me of what got me better and what will continue to keep me better… and so they might resonate with other addicts or be somewhat useful for parents, spouses or friends of addicts who’d like some illumination on why we act like deranged idiots.
So giving my life to God means that I drop what I’m doing and go live a life of purpose and meaning, i.e. a life of service. If my job is purely selfish and spiritless, like banking or real estate broker etc., it means I drop it like a bad habit and choose service instead. Service includes jobs that help and serve others. Go work with other addicts at some treatment center or go work with burn victims at the hospital, etc. You will know if it lifts you up and keeps you close to God. You will feel it in your gut if it’s good for you or not, if it serves you spiritually or not.
Giving my life to God means that from now on, I never ignore my conscience. If I feel in my gut that something is wrong, I avoid it. Conversely, if I feel that something is right, I do it. I never engage in immoral conduct, violence, or abusiveness. I never intentionally hurt others, and if I do for some reason, I go make it right. Every time. I stop being dishonest, self-seeking, manipulative, controlling, self-centered.
Giving my life to God means that if my conscience has taken a beating and has shriveled up to the size of a pea, then I take actions that expand and restore it. I pray, I meditate, I work with others, I speak honestly at groups, I support and educate parents of addicts, I help my family, friends and relatives, I become a better man, a better husband, father, son and brother. You get the picture. Taking spiritual or right action will gradually repair your conscience, and then once it has grown healthy again, make sure you listen to it. Don’t ignore it or bad things will happen.
Giving my life to God means that I get quiet enough to be able to separate my will from God’s will. If we pray and listen deeply and feel that we should make a change, whether professional or personal, instead of being selfish and doing what I want, I make the ultimate sacrifice and do what I know in my heart is better for me.
Giving my life to God means that I put Him and my relationship with Him above all things, all people, all places, all jobs and all possessions. I must be willing to let go of anything or pursue anything if that is what it takes to stay close to God. I must be willing to go to any length to maintain this new relationship. I must put my spiritual growth above anything and everything, including my family and my job. Sure not everybody may have to do this, but if you are a hopeless, reckless alcoholic, you may just have to in order to stay sober.
So the point is that even the most chronic, beat-up, miserable and suicidal drug addicts and alcoholics can get better, it’s just that they may have to blow everything up and give their entire lives to getting closer to God, and then staying close once they get there.
God, please help me to be still and know, that I may separate my will from Your will…