One of my deepest struggles in early recovery
One of my deepest struggles in early recovery was the belief in a Higher Power. Prior to coming into Alcoholics Anonymous, I rarely found myself thinking of any God, let alone discussing it openly. I was not raised in a very religious household. My parents came from very different backgrounds and never impress either of their experiences on my brother and I. I did not have a grudge against God or a negative experience tied to religion. I simply rebelled against the idea the same way I rebelled against everything. There was little anyone could say to convince me that there is a God present in my life; so nobody ever tried to convince me there is. Instead of hearing what I had to do or believe, the members of the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous told me what they did.
The first meeting I went to was a gratitude meeting. I sat in the back of the room staring at every person with a smile on their face and I judged them for having what I did not. These men and women shared for an hour about what their life had been like by the time they stopped drinking and using drugs; they shared about the actions they took and their reactions to life as they took the 12 suggestions, and they shared how their lives were at the moment. These AAs did not preach or rant at me about their beliefs. They just gave their Higher Powers credit for the wonderful things that have happened to them.
My sponsor told me that 12 Steps offer me a personality change or a new attitude toward my surroundings. That was my spiritual experience. I placed myself in a position to accept any help I could get. I spoke as honestly as I knew how to about my disbelief. Between the help of Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings and the 12 Step work I was doing with my sponsor; I was able to drop the attitude and accept spiritual help. What started with fear and judgment transformed into a fulfilling life with purpose, meaning, and direction.
“We found that as soon as we were able to lay aside prejudice and express even a willingness to believe in a Power greater than ourselves, we commenced to get results, even though it was impossible for any of us to fully define or comprehend that Power, which is God”
– (Alcoholics Anonymous, 46)