Hello G.O.D, It’s Me, Violet

“One of the things that I have struggled with during my many years of participation in AA and NA is what some of us call “the god stuff.” The references to religion, spirituality, God, and Higher Power are everywhere in the literature and the culture of AA.  Even in the best efforts of the folks back in the 1930s, the “Chapter to the Agnostic” pretty much assumes that as soon as you start to come out of your addiction, and into the light, you will happily go back to some concept of God, albeit not necessarily the God of your childhood.” ~ HANJE RICHARDS, “The God Stuff.”

The “God Stuff” has been the hardest concept for me to grasp in my Alcoholics Anonymous program, followed by the concept of being powerless. The first A.A. meeting I attended in treatment was on Step One, “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol and that our lives had become unmanageable.” I actually said “I’m a feminist and am not powerless over anything.” This was after almost dying and being in a coma for two weeks, physical therapy for another two weeks, and in the mental health unit for a week; all due to a suicide attempt while intoxicated. If you want to V8 slap me in the forehead for the absurdity of my statement on that first meeting, I agree. That, my friends, is the insanity of alcoholism.

This brings me to “The God Stuff”. Step Two is “Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity”, and Step Three is “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”

My spiritual path is eclectic; a little Buddhism, some Hindu, a bit of Islam, some Wicca, a little Judaism, and a splash of the Christianity I was taught growing up as an Episcopalian. In short, I am a Unitarian Universalist who believes one should build their own spiritual path, and do their own dishes.

In “the rooms” we often talk about a “God of our own understanding”, with a big G, and all meetings I’ve been to across the U.S. end with “The Lord’s Prayer.”  Although the Big Book also speaks of a “power greater than ourselves” and “Higher Power,” there is a lot of He, Him, Lord and God (all capitalized). It’s very cringe inducing for atheists, but also for people like me who believe in a power greater than myself that is not patriarchal.

As part of my “neighborhood” exercise yesterday, I was looking at blogs under the tag “Unitarian Universalist” and the first post I came across was “The God Stuff”. My God embracing AA friends would call my stumbling upon this post “A God thing”. I call it serendipity.

In this post, Hanje introduced me to  We Agnostics & Free Thinkers International AA Convention, which he attended.

As I have said, I have come to believe in a power greater than myself, but don’t have a name for it. The God talk in the rooms can be overwhelming. I do pray and meditate and have found life easier if I give my will over. Somedays I pray to  Mother Nature, others Great Spirit, sometimes Creator, other times Universe, occasionally God, and many times “Hey, You!”

It is comforting to know that there are bloggers like Hanje out there who participate in A.A. but are not God thumpers. AA is an easier, softer way for me to live after spending a decade in and out of recovery rejecting 12 step programs. But I have also loved reading other WordPress blogs by people who do not participate in AA or NA but have long-term sobriety. Jon Sleeper is one such writer.

Just like my spirituality, my recovery support comes from a variety of sources including A.A. but also Health Realization, Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Women for Sobriety. I’m getting over the god stuff, but that mostly is because I began thinking of God as Group of Drunks (those in AA who had what I wanted) and now think of God as Give Orderly Direction. I may not know if there is anything beyond you and me, and if there is what to call it. All I do know is that my program works, if I work it.

 

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8 thoughts on “Hello G.O.D, It’s Me, Violet

  1. Me too and it is a God of my own understanding or no God at all.
    AA is a spiritual program not religious and that is why it works so well for me.
    Yes it works if I, and you, and others, work it.
    I like the definition of insanity and I still do this way to much-insanity is doing the sam etching over and over again and expecting different results.
    I also like if I do what I always did, I will get what I always got.
    Good post and thanks of sharing. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Spirituality is such a personal journey and I hope yours is successful💞 for me it is my inner self/voice it is tangible to me – I cannot fathom a greater being (god if you like) actually being real. But I guess that’s why they call it faith, so maybe I am wrong, but either way we have to get through this life to the other end with or without it, you are doing great and remember you are worth it😊

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  3. Amazing post depicting a lot of my thoughts on the G.O.D. subject. I am a very spiritual woman….within. I have garnered much knowledge of different religions throughout my life. It all became very confusing for me. Then…one sunny morning, while sitting on my porch sipping a cuppa tea and reading, it dawned on me. Why have I been searching, as we all do, for something ‘out there’ and ‘outside of’ me that represents God? My lightbulb moment. I found what I had been seeking and craving for so long….me. I found Spirit right here inside of me.
    I loved this post. Very well articulated and very thought provoking for those who are still seeking.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Suz! I also listen to the “still soft voice within me”. That damn inner Spirit is always correct . I do like prayer though, especially if I’m angry about something or someone. Praying for the person or situation brings me out of fear. Again, this could be the Spirit within me rectifying itself, or it could be something else. I don’t really need to now what it is anymore but just accept that it works.

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  4. Wow, I had no idea that AA meetings involved “the god stuff”; that’s quite interesting. I’d imagine that an alcohol addiction impairs your mind from being able to make individual, rational thoughts due to its influence. Ironically, that’s how I see religion!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Hi Violet,
    Thank you so much for your kind comment about my writing and your link to my page. The feeling is mutual. You have some beautifully presented work here.
    One of the many useful things I learned in AA was that we may disagree but we don’t have to be disagreeable, and that’s an aphorism I’ve tried to keep with me in my life outside the fellowship. Another important element is balance. Something I never had a drunk… I see the peer support of AA as vital in early recovery and I would never advise anyone to quit the fellowship and deprogramme from the steps before they felt extremely confident in so doing. I hope that message is clear in my writing too. It took me 13 years to muster up the courage, after all.
    Best wishes in your recovery, Jon S
    “Leaving AA, Staying Sober” at http://jonsleeper.wordpress.com

    Like

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