A thought for Sunday morning

I have been thinking about an online conversation I had about God and Alcoholics Anonymous. My friend seemed to be under the impression that the function of God in AA was sort of a strict schoolteacher keeping his charges on the straight and narrow. He didn’t mention hell, but perhaps that is how people imagine it goes. Stop drinking or you are going to get punished. But that isn’t the reality at all. You don’t have to believe in God to be in AA, but many of us do.

AA is by far the most mysterious things that I participate in my life. The experience is hard to communicate to outsiders. I think that is because in essence addiction and recovery are spiritual experiences.

I have an image in my mind’s eye that illustrates how I experience it. By far the most dangerous people I have ever met have been in AA. I’ve met felons, gang members, police officers, politicians, teachers, housewives, actors and musicians. I’ve met the very famous and the truly anonymous. None of this

matters in the halls. In my mind’s eye, we all come into room at the designated place and time, sit down in a circle, and then open our shirts. It is as if we have zippers on our chests that we each unzip to reveal our battered and beating hearts to each other. We then zip our chests back up and go out into our lives, and we don’t drink. It is unclear to me how God fits in all of this other to say because of my experience in getting sober I believe in love. I believe in God’s love.

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2 thoughts on “A thought for Sunday morning

  1. I’ve been in Al-anon about 35 years. It is a spiritual program, not a religious one. My Higher Power is probably like no one else’s and I suspect the same is true for them. I know so many people in various programs who used to be on the “outs” with “God” and now have a profound relationship with their Higher Power.

    Thank God (the God of our understanding) that it is a God of love and acceptance, support, and mercy. Even in the worst of times, there is no judgment, no anger, no punishment. We punish ourselves far, far enough.

    I’m an ACoA. I got crazier than any drunk in my life until I worked though my program in Al-Anon and now ACoA. I go to open AA meetings and open NA meetings as well as Al-Anon and ACoA. Thank God for the program.

    I want to add that the family of Alcoholics and Addicts can either be part of the problem or part of the solution. The only way I know of to be part of the solution is to use the 12 steps to deal with our own character defects. My soon-to-be ex-son-in-law is so full of resentment and so savagely condemning of my recovering daughter that it is destroying him. The more she recovers, the happier she is, the more bitter and twisted he becomes. It is so incredibly sad, because he refuses to go to Al-anon and as a result he suffers greatly.

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