To My Knees

My active drinking career, which I pray is over, come to a slow but sure nasty bottom. I went beyond just being brought to my knees with my last drunk. My last debacle found me splayed out on the bathroom floor and in dire medical straits. I was revived, brought to the hospital and spent a night in intensive care. I knew, this time, I was defeated. I was figuratively brought to my knees in realizing my powerless. I was different, at least in realizing it was simply was not possible for me to whip this drinking problem. I also knew – finally it was absolutely clear – my drinking was a big problem. I did not just have a bad night or was unlucky. I then did something strange. I sincerely asked for help.

Today I am brought to my knees by all kinds of situations. Asking God for help in my daily life, praying about how grateful I am to have the life I have today and many other reasons. All this is now a very good thing instead of the humiliation of what my drinking drove me to become.

One funny thing about all this is I did not believe in God before I was felled by my powerlessness. I felt people who had faith in God were weak and simple minded. It says in the Twelve and twelve (and as quoted in the daily reflections book): Some of us won’t believe in God, others can’t, and still others who do believe that God exists have no faith whatever He will perform this miracle.

I am glad I am on the other side of the fence on this issue today. I know and appreciate that God does exist. He can work miracles in my life. And I can be brought to my knees on a regular basis by my faith.

Getting the Answer

Today I was told I would be offered an exciting new job I had been hoping I would get. It is a few years of work, with some of the top people in my field. One of them is a world class scientist, with lots of awards and even a Pulitizer for a book he wrote. Not only should this work be good but it will also set me up quite well to get a permanent position once this experience is completed.

Sobriety is a strange and wonderous journey, especially when you give in to giving up and letting God. My experience with this job has been like a number of others. It was serious and yes, it was a big deal. So much so that I got my panties in a wad for quite awhile. Only in the last few months have I worked really hard at letting God into what I was busy doing on my own.

I had been waiting on this deal to come down for over a year and was able to spin my wheels doing other things to bide my time. It got to the point where I was getting fearful, anxious and could not see as easily that life is and will be good. Regardless of work or no work. Some of my old thinking was starting to come back, in no small part because now I am married and things seem so much more serious these days. My wife is even pregnant for gosh sakes.

Finally I got earnest and honest in my prayers. I began to ask God to help me be on and be happy with a path that would support me and my family in a prosperous way. To realize, accept and honor whatever that was to be. Over time I came to realize I was no longer waiting for something to happen. It was happening and I was on the right path. I just did not know what was up around the next bend. This change in my perception and sense of things began to get me right again. A greater shift occured when I felt like I did not care what the outcome of getting the job I wanted, I was just curious to know what was going to be next. Like the curiousity of a child, not one of the fearful adult I was a few months ago. I just began to know now that all was well, and right. It also seemed that an answer, the next thing that would be, was coming to the fore soon.

Today the email came. I have a lunch date on Wednesday to meet with the people I will be working with. With this new job I will be: working at one of the top universities in the world, working with one of the top scientists in my field and I will be able to commute to work by taking a bus that is a three minute walk from my front door.

One of my best friends in the world was with me when I was just beginning my journey in science. I was a few years sober, he was just getting started. His first few years of sobriety were mental health hell but he stuck with it and I with him. I was best man at his wedding a few years ago. Last year he was part of my wedding. Even way back when, in the mid 90’s, I was talking to him about this guy that I am going to soon be working with. I called that friend today and we both marveled that I am where I am today.

It occurs to me to end this post by mentioning that none of what I have done in this area of my life would have happened if I made all my own decisions. I just wanted to be left alone. Instead I followed what I thought I was being directed to do, each step of the way. Even though at times it was a seemingly scary, unknown course that God put me on. Those scary God directions always opened up into wondrous vistas that held beauty and joy. Today is another one of those and I am so grateful to be alive and sober.

Wishing you all the best in your sobriety…

Faith Abounds

One key element of my sobriety, my happiness and my ability to live in the right way is to have a strong faith. Yet it comes and goes. I came into AA not believing in God. My use and abuse of substances though did make me willing to try what Alcoholics Anonymous suggested. My willingness led me to develop a relationship with God and an ability to have faith.

Those days seem simple and quaint today. My humanness has returned as I have stayed sober and had my own little victories in life. All of these have been made possible by my sobriety – that is clear to me. I think that my faith has never been as strong as it was in my early years of sobriety. I do have some ideas why too. Part of it has been, simply that I have become somewhat normal. I am no longer so desperate. My life works today rather than it being a real mess that spills out toxicity in all areas and upon all that are around me. I could do better, sure, but I am not doing all that bad either.

So I have become comfortable and in some ways complacent.

The answer to this sometimes lacking strength in my faith is to redouble my efforts in doing what I have been taught works. Trust God, clean house and help others. I have been taking this action for months now and not surprisingly faith is beginning to spread. It is smothering the fear, getting into the nooks and crannies of my thought life and rooting out the crap. It feels good, its uplifting to have this change occur and to have it so palpable.

I am still a bit away from where I once was with my faith. I have also come to understand that what I had and thought was good can never be brought back. I am aiming to bring myself to a new place, not restore myself to an old state. That old state cannot be returned to because I will never be that person again. I have changed and today is today, it is never yesterday.

My old friend Bob used to say “the best is yet to come.” Things are pretty good but I can tell they are getting better. That is some faith I can bank on.