This is the start of the second month of my gratitude blog, so I am going to reflect on the second step of the A.A. program:
“2: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.“
I found the expression “came to believe …” essential to finding my place in A.A. It gave me time to get used to the idea that drinking and drugging meant I was not fully sane. So what if I made choices to drink and drive, or to have sex with someone I wouldn’t want to see when I woke up the next morning? It took me time to accept and believe that those were insane choices – and all part of my addictions.
It also gave me time to get used to the idea that there was a Power greater than myself that would be interested in me, and that this Higher Power would be involved in restoring my sanity. I was born Jewish (something I learned in my 20s; another after effect of the Holocaust) and raised Christian, but had little to do with organized religion for much of my drinking days.
Given my distance from religion and the deeper and deeper hole I was slowly digging for myself through drugs and drink, it was quite a leap for me to believe in a caring Higher Power. It was an even bigger step to think that this Higher Power would restore me to sanity.
In A.A./N.A. meetings, people share stories of their drinking and using days, and they talk about how they are working the A.A. program. It helps alcoholics/addicts hear what other people have gone through so we don’t feel so alone or so bad. It also helps us see the successes of being sober today, for a week, a month, a year, or much longer. The stories illustrate how the A.A. program is helping people to stay sober and work on their recovery.
By listening to those stories in many A.A. meetings, I started to learn about how people came to believe in that Higher Power. I saw how much better – and more sane – their lives were since they stopped drinking/drugging. That helped me to believe in a Power greater than myself, and that I could work on my sobriety and recover my sanity too. And I began to share my own story, as the circle of recovery continued and continues.
I am so thankful that, in time, I did find a strong belief in a Higher Power, and have 25 years of greater and greater sanity to appreciate. Gratitude ten-fold!