For a start let me state that God is not lost!
But when you’re an alcoholic and in the throws of the worst dilemma in a long line of dilemmas, God is not easy to see. Furthermore, in this state of complete mental and physical patheticness, God is not the first thing you think of.
Sure, you may want to exclaim, “God help me!” or bargain with it, “God get me out of this and I’ll never…(insert your own sacrifice)”.
My rock bottom was more like the slow educational realisation of Wiley Coyote than any sudden awakening.
The sad and lonely matter of the soon-to-be sober alcoholic is that this moment in their life is about as bad as it gets. Some call this utter state of defeat ‘Rock Bottom’. My rock bottom was more like the slow educational realisation of Wiley Coyote than any sudden awakening.
Whatever journey we make to get to rock bottom, whoever we have to rape and pillage along the way, no matter what assets we have to utterly destroy; even then we will not want to admit that the drugs and alcohol are worth giving up. If this is not the ultimate human insanity I bid you tell me what is.
My personal affliction included annihilation of the liver. The liver is a very important organ. In my twilight years (the time between rock bottom and last drink), I lost my best friend, Peter. He was fifty years old and when I asked the doctor what was his cause of death he said Pete was like a boat with many holes. You could plug one or two but it was going to sink anyway!
Here I was, a year after burying Peter still willing to gamble on one more day of drinking before I finally call it quits. Every morning, throwing up acid and blood before lighting a cigarette and trying once more to get that first glass of wine to stay down.
With some time since that last drink to think about it, I conclude that the insanity of those last days is what it takes for an alcoholic like I am to find their way back to a Higher Spirit. I call that Higher Spirit ‘God’ because no one can define God – but everyone has some idea of what I’m talking about when I use that name.
God, Jesus or the Buddhas, it seems to matter little to the struggling alcoholic. The belief that a Higher Power can relieve our alcoholism is the turning point from self-destruction to a healthy recovery.
The Buddhist teachings that I received in the weeks following my last drinks up until the present have strengthened my spirit and firmed my resolve. I have learned to trade my self-cherishing and selfishness for compassion and service.
And I have come to love my brethren in other faiths and traditions, atheists and agnostics too, with a sincerity that I lacked in my people-pleasing past.