Power was something that I always tried to have over other people and I will still try too if I don’t practice the principles of the twelve steps and use the serenity prayer.
I did not drink for that long, around eight years, but alcohol was just what I needed to ease that gut wrenching pain of feeling so painfully uncomfortable around people. I always felt like I had missed something and did not quite fit in. From an early age I prayed when I wanted something, and when I did not get the things that I prayed for my beliefs were confirmed. There was no God and the world and the people in it (who had let me down so badly) were not on my level, they were beneath me.
Alcohol was the comfort that I craved it blotted out the pain of my truly wonderful talents not being recognised (I could have been a contender!)
I reached a point in my drinking where I just wanted to be shown how to stay sober, trying to stay sober alone was a one-way street. Sponsorship was something that I had heard people sharing about at meetings and I eventually got a Sponsor. After lots of complications, analyzing & talking to my Sponsor, the penny finally dropped.
The basic text says: Choose your own conception of a higher power. Just something greater than myself. I never had a problem with the word “God”. My problem was with people and when I completed step 4 I realised the main problem centred in my mind – my reactions.
I am an extreme example of self-will run riot (“though he usually doesn’t think so”) I am comfortable today with a simple conception of a power greater than myself. All my defects are still there & can rise up inside me to tell you how wrong you are. Honesty, sponsorship & a higher power have worked to keep me sober for the last thirteen years. I still haven’t cracked it but I know if I maintain that thinking I will stay sober & life is so much more comfortable & simple. More productive too, helping others who arrive in AA and think “I’m not religious & can’t recover”. My problem wasn’t God or religion; it was opening my mind to see that things that are a power greater than myself surround me.
Andy B, Road to Recovery Group, Plymouth