by John S. September 2, 2009
Before I got sober I had a lot of faith – in myself.
Even as I stood in a homeless shelter, clutching two garbage bags that held everything I owed, I was 100% convinced I had this thing under control. It doesn’t get much crazier than that.
I didn’t understand how powerful drugs and alcohol were in my life. How I’d be willing to accept any set of circumstances – no matter how humiliating – to keep up the pretense that I can handle drinking and drugging. My ability to lie myself, to deny the downward spiral that everyone else in my life could clearly see is alcoholism and addiction in it’s purest form.
I lived in a fantasy world of my own making, as the Big Book says – in full flight from reality. It’s all good, everything’s fine, people need to back off. I just like to smoke a little rock once in a while.
FYI – there is no such thing as being a social crack smoker.
Once the booze and drugs were out of my system, it slowly became clear that a life run by John always ended up in the same place. Depression, despair, rage and fear – which led to fights with friends and family, financial disaster, homelessness, joblessness and crushing loneliness.
As fantasy worlds go – not so great.
I was lucky to have the opportunity to move into supportive housing, free of drugs and alcohol. I found a sponsor with long term sobriety – a man who quietly and without fanfare demonstrated his faith in his everyday life. By working with him, I was able to honestly evaluate my own. Surely there had to be a better way. No doubt self-reliance had failed me.
The day I turned my will and my life over to the God of my understanding was the day everything changed. I didn’t have to have all the answers – I just needed to trust God would provide them. Then I needed to try and follow his direction.
I start and end my day with God. I see the people he puts in my life. The opportunities to be as He would have me be – and the chaos I can create when I disregard that guidance. For me, God meant a return to church. That doesn’t need to be your experience – but it is mine. One that has greatly helped me.
I have faith today – even when I find myself facing challenging situations. Recently, I lost my job unexpectedly. It was frightening and painful, but I wasn’t set adrift. God would be there, send people to help me. And He did.
Today, I run drug and alcohol free housing for people in recovery. It’s a dream job, I am happy and fulfilled and have no doubt, it all comes from the grace of God.