Today I extend my gratitude to family (biological and chosen) and friends (both old and new).
The meetings I’ve gone to, and really the whole of the AA program, thus far has been about finding a higher power. This higher power doesn’t necessarily need to any Judeo-Christian God. It doesn’t need to be Allah. It doesn’t need to be Diana. It doesn’t need to be Zeus. It doesn’t need to be Krishna. It doesn’t need to be Buddha. It doesn’t even need to be any God in particular. The most important aspect is that it has to be a power greater than ourselves.
At one of the meetings I went to recently a person commented about making a pie chart with your higher power in the middle. I didn’t know exactly what to put in the middle, particularly since I’ve been open and honest about being an atheist. But I still have a higher power. That higher power is my family. And my friends. And my family who are friends and the friends who are family.
I would be incapable of making any progress towards continued sobriety without them. Since I first wrote about being an alcoholic and just how terrifying and painful it was to admit that I’m, ultimately, powerless over alcohol, I’ve had nothing, but support from my friends and family.
This is what I’m supposed to be looking for in a higher power, right? Something that anchors me. Something that helps me have have hope. Something that helps me believe that, maybe someday, I’ll be “restored to sanity.”
Being only three days into admitting my powerlessness over alcohol I’m not quite in the space to be willing and able to surrender my will and life over completely to my family, but on the other hand have I not been doing that for the last thirty-one years? My parents and my brothers (and now my sisters-in-law and my chosen sisters) are folks who are unquestionably safe. I know I could call them any time of day or night and they would support and love me in and through whatever’s going on. That’s what most people look for in a higher power, right? Guidance, support and love no matter the situation, no matter the circumstance. Whether that guidance comes from a mom smack, a hug, a helping hand I’ve been lucky enough to never doubt my family.
That’s what faith is, right? Never doubting there’s something bigger than oneself even when one can’t see that something right in front of their face. My family is all over the state, the hemisphere, the world, but regardless I know whether it’s my sister in Trinidad, my brother in Western Maine, or my chosen family in Europe, I know I can contact them and ask for a hand, a hug or an ear. And they’ll be there. And they’ll “restore me to sanity.”
I’m still terrified of what being an alcoholic means. It doesn’t matter that I’ve not had a drink in a year, even sober I was an alcoholic. Now I have to start reconciling myself to the fact that stopping drinking is only a part of the battle. There’s a whole lot more to go. And I have no idea what or who I’m going to be on the other side.