By Abigail M.
I surrendered to a God of my understanding in the same way I surrendered to the first drink...I believe that the relationship I have with my sponsor mirrors the relationship I have with God.
“We learned that we had to fully concede to our innermost selves that we were alcoholics. This is the first step in recovery,” Alcoholics Anonymous, page 30.
Self-will, self-determination, and self-reliance had failed me miserably. I became sick and tired of being sick and tired. Simply stated: I was done taking my own suggestions. Things had gotten so bad that I could not afford to be sober for fear of remembering what I did or what had happened “to me” while drinking.
I had to drink to live, to cope with the demands of everyday existence. A wound in the center of my being had formed and the deeper my life descended into darkness, the more it festered. Every time I acted out in alcoholism the disease spread. Yet I kept assuring myself that an external modification could assuage the inner pain.
If only I had the right family, partner, job, looks, and money, things would be different. As stated in the Big Book, it is the great obsession of every alcoholic that they may someday be able to control and enjoy their drinking. It was my obsession that I would never have to stop, nor give up trying to control my life. Alcohol was my only solution. I began to medicate my spiritual malady by pouring antiseptic, in the form of alcohol, on the wound—desperately attempting to sterilize, purify, and jumpstart the healing process.
The recovery I was looking for, and finally found in A.A., has been, and will always be, from myself.
Mindful contemplation replaced impulse; reaction was eclipsed by action; and control was relinquished to radical acceptance. I learned discipline and dedication to a program I came to believe in. My brain began to change as I saw my Higher Power working in my life.
Being “rocketed into the 4th dimension” means that the clarity in my life comes from a place of truth which is often very uncomfortable and in contrast to my self will—very inconvenient. The idea that I escaped death instead of giving in to it made me thankful for the simple and consistent nature of life, something I had previously found mundane and boring. I surrendered to a God of my understanding in the same way I surrendered to the first drink.
I used to get so nervous when other people talked about their Higher Power, because I was jealous and I wanted that so badly. This is how I learned to pick a sponsor. I was mad and intolerant when she talked about the intimacy of her Higher Power, but I knew that with her I could blossom.
It was suggested that I run at my fears and turn them into love. I had to be okay drawing near to another woman spiritually. I believe that the relationship I have with my sponsor mirrors the relationship I have with God.
This is why I can never repay my debt to A.A. and the true freedom the steps have given me.
Abigail M.’s home group is Women Staying in the Book, which meets Thursday nights at 5:30 in Pleasanton.