Friday, July 13, 2012

A health program

Twelve step programs are a systematic way that we can employ to live fuller, happier lives. The first step is to admit you are powerless over (whatever) and that your life has become unmanageable. Then you come to believe that a power greater than yourself can and will help you manage. Thirdly, you turn your life and your will over to the care of that power greater than yourself (ie, God).

I began my alcoholic career in my early teens. One day in my 30s I awoke on the bathroom floor in my own vomit and was horrified at myself. I'd like to say that I quit drinking that day and never tasted alcohol again. Not that easy, but never that bad again.

In my late 30s I quit even trying to have a social drink - the bathroom floor image haunted me and my whole body rebelled against it. I admit that I've had a sip occasionally (maybe 4 times in 30 years), but I joined a 12-step group some 7 or 8 years ago.

That third step is the hardest for me. I've always known that my life was unmanageable - worse at times than others, but turning my will over to "someone" is not my idea of fun. So, I have to struggle in my non-alcoholic drunkenness for periods of time before I'm ready to turn my life and my will over to the care of God. There's a special prayer for that. And, sometimes I have to pray it for many days before I believe that I can do that. Eventually, the peace begins to settle on me, and my life becomes easier.

So, I'm praying again:
"God, I offer myself to Thee--to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!"(page 63, Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous)

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