God of My Own Understanding
When I came into Alcoholics Anonymous I was really not impressed with God, the God that I had been brought up to believe in.
Growing up I had a lovely caring family environment and certainly a healthy respect for God. We used to go to church every Sunday. My sister and I belonged to the church choir and even had to attend church on Saturdays for weddings, and of cause mass on Sunday and any high occasion that being in a church choir in Wales demanded, so I had a God in my life.
It wasn't until the birth of my youngest daughter, coupled with her terminal prognosis, that I really felt deserted from the God that I grew up with. There was nowhere to turn, I was in a corner with no place to hide and I was sorely afraid to the core of my being. My father, and mentor in life, had already died eighteen months previously and I was scared. I could not believe that the God I grew up with and learnt about, and had a healthy respect for, had allowed my little daughter's tragic terminal illness so she would suffer so much in the first two years of her life.
My self-pity had stopped me being close to the God I'd grown up with and learned about.
Well after blaming myself, then my husband, and hating myself for being weak and giving into him to have a child in the first place, and having the guilt over this baby and the blighted life that had been dealt to her, I had to blame the God in my life for allowing this to happen and for allowing our child to suffer so badly.
I had great difficulty living on the terms life had thrown at me, and in truth alcohol was the one thing that got me through the day, because it made the life I had been given a lot easier to deal with. It removed me from the reality I was forced to live in. It gave me the ease and comfort I could not feel in life since my daughter's diagnosis was thrust on us. Alcohol made acceptance more palatable, it helped me come to terms with the situation because it removed me from the firing line. I was detached from life with the help of alcohol and life hurt really badly so I wanted that detachment.
I used to ask God 'Why did you allow her to live? Why give a person life in order to suffer in great pain?' It just didn't make sense. Alcohol made sense of it, it made my life easier to live with, removed me from the reality so I could cope. Without it at that point I would have stepped out of life regardless of what that would have done to the eldest daughter, who had just started high school.
So I functioned with alcohol in my life for ten years becoming more and more dependant and crossing certain lines, until my eldest could take no more and she rang a family member who brought me into AA. It was at that turning point that I had a Higher Power. The group said to me that I could have a Higher Power, a God of my own understanding. Because I'd fallen out with the real one that whole concept was acceptable to me. Now during all that time I constantly spoke to my dead father, my mentor and director in real life, and as my time went on in AA I realised that speaking to dad was like having a Higher Power. I couldn't touch or see him but I trusted him implicitly, and so if most of the group could start off with the sun, moon or stars, I certainly could have my dead father as my Higher Power. So you see my Higher Power has always been there, it just took me a little while to get things into perspective and become comfortable with the fact.
Today I am so grateful to my Higher Power, for my journey in life and my life in AA.