A Higher Power and Sobriety

It’s no secret that I struggle with the concept of a Higher Power and have become more aligned with the funny little monikers in AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) than I have with an actual God – i.e G.O.D. = Group of Drunks. But if you read the Daily Reflections (One of the many forms of literature offered by AA), it is readily obvious that the months of the year are synonymous with the 12 Steps of the AA program, so February is all about the 2nd Step – one comes to believe that a Higher Power can restore us to sanity. It might be tough to understand – especially coming from a “sinner” like myself, but I have been praying this past month.

Do I believe in a Higher Power?  There is so much about this topic that it is hard to conquer in one simple blog post.  But I have realized one thing, praying causes my mind to focus.  I’ve lost focus in my life, from all the things I carry in my mind and in my soul and in my heart.  Last night, I had a small panic attack, and instantly recited the Serenity Prayer in my mind and it calmed me.  But it made me think about other times that I have handled stress and anxiety in a successful way. It made me consider all of the things I take on and try to accomplish – somewhere in my mind, I think I am superman (or woman, as the case may be) to assume I can accomplish everything. Is this the issue a Higher Power is supposed to solve – the overwhelming effects of an anxious mind worrying about everything?

I think about the fact that I have taken on a lot of things, and sometimes not very successfully, because I don’t know how to establish boundaries. My desire to do everything for everyone and fantasize about doing things I enjoy is a hindrance in my life. Although, the entirety of my blog seems to be one of negativity and pessimism, the reality is that I am an optimistic person and I believe I can do what I set my mind to accomplish.  The sad reality for me, is that there are natural limits in life, and because of those limits, I can’t do everything.

I’m going to take a slight aside here and put some perspective on this topic. For some reason, in my life, I have a difficult time feeling meaningful, unless I have millions of things going on around me.

I tried to take a break yesterday evening and just sit on my couch and enjoy some downtime watching television.  I found myself, fidgeting and unable to remain seated. I began to wander around my kitchen and wanting to find something to eat – I felt hungry, because I’m trying to reduce my calorie intake – but I didn’t need anything to eat. I went back and sat down, while a saved episode of “Dance Moms” finished playing. I attempted to watch an episode of “Special Victims Unit” on TV, but discovered myself trying to read, answer emails and a variety of other activities that I Felt needed to get done.  Then I went into the kitchen again and wandered around without real purpose. The anxiety hit, as I began to breathe hard and shaking my hands to try and shake off whatever it was.  Then I went for a walk and said the Serenity Prayer.  I felt a calm come over me and I know some would say that is the God speaking to me and taking care of me.  Truthfully, I speculate the reality of that.  I felt like my mind focused on the walking. I felt the physical energy of the impending panic attack disappear.

And I thought about all the different things in life that I have made Higher Powers – weightlifting, martial arts, hiking, sex, beer, reading, money, working, school, relationships, TV, video games, eating, fucking chocolate, etc., etc. (Funny, irony – right after I named those Higher powers, my word count was “666”…LMAO, I see irony in so many things). The reality is that I have a mind that obsesses. I have to constantly solve problems and challenges (You can probably imagine how difficult a disagreement might be with me, huh?). And I’m going to venture something else slightly controversial – I’ve even made religion and God a Higher Power that was obsessive at one point in my life. I realize there are some that would claim this to be a good way to go, but I can tell you that my tendency is to fall so deep into something that there isn’t an escape that allows me to relate to people in a normal manner.  This is dangerous, if you ask me.

So, what is my Higher Power? What is the God of my conception?  I don’t honestly know, but I have been willing to accept that I don’t know and I am willing to follow some ideas that seem to work.  I know that right now, there are many things I can’t “fix”, but I haven’t figured those out yet. So, I pray to a God…or a Goddess…or a Universal Power…or a Pagan Diety…or to a Group of Drunks…or all of you who read this blog.

Today, I am sober 84 days.
 

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39 thoughts on “A Higher Power and Sobriety”

  1. Not being able to relate to other people is really dangerous if u ask me. that’s good that you realized that. keep it up. 🙂 one day at a time. We are all in this together whether some believe in God or not we are struggling in one way or another . Stay strong ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I see your christian teachings are deeply rooted in you when you identify yourself as a sinner.

    I would suggest taking a break from the Daily Reflections. It’s never been my favorite. Try reading the second step in the 12 and 12. You may find that you are making this entire process too difficult.

    Also, do you have a sponsor?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Lamar!
      Yes, I do have a sponsor, but I haven’t met with him in a while. The reason I put “sinner” in quotes was to indicate that I’m aware of how I label it, but it is not actually the totality of how I see it. I intended that statement to be somewhat tongue-in-cheek. I have read the 2nd step in the 12 and 12 and find it to be a much better explanation. The intention of my post was the share some of my thoughts, but I’m not stuck so much as it might seem.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “Is this the issue a Higher Power is supposed to solve – the overwhelming effects of an anxious mind worrying about everything?” This may sound like a typical atheist and yes I do happen to be an atheist, but my two cents here is that I don’t think a higher power can solve anything, least of all anxiety and worrying minds. If anything, I think that the pressure put on an individual to not ‘sin’ many of those sins being just actual human experiences of life, may cater to a more anxious prone mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Than it only stands to reason, the follow-up question might be: How do you handle the impact of anxiety?
      Not that I outright disagree with you, because it is a question I ponder – the div8neor lack therof.

      Like

  4. TS… I love your posts. The cheeky ones, the questioning ones… they all contain an honesty, an authenticity that I believe most of us are searching for in our interpersonal connections… I don’t feel like your posts are negative or pessimistic at all… you simply seem like a person trying to make sense of your own life, and seeking connection… and in the end, aren’t we all doing that very same thing?
    84 days… that’s so awesome! Definitely something to be proud of! Yay you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The concept of a higher power is, I think, something that helps you to be accountable to someone/something other than yourself. Imagine a world where no one had to answer for their actions. We’d quickly annihilate ourselves. Whether the power be a principle, an actual being, humanity as a whole, nature, etc. the power needs to be ‘big’ enough to hold your accountability. Does that make sense? And congratulations on making day 84!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wonderful post! My name’s Sara. I’ve been in and out of AA since I was 18 (back in 2011), and I just picked up 7 months. So much of what you wrote, I can relate to. ESPECIALLY in regards to setting boundaries with others. It’s something I’ve struggled with because I am a true type-A people pleaser. What helps me is realizing that without taking time for myself, and taking care of my soul and body, I can’t truly be of service to others. I cannot offer anything of value to anyone if my cup is empty. I may think I’m helping, but I’m really running on empty and I become resentful. Take care of you ❤ You deserve some love, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I prefer (and only believe I suppose) in the concept of a greater power. That we are all part of. The same atoms, the same energies. The easiest way for me
    To realise this is to just get outside,look at the sky, go for a walk (esp in the park) or go for a swim, feel the wind, etc!

    In regards to the restless I’m not downplaying it (at all!) but it’s very normal! When we are busy busy we can’t just switch off and relax! So if I’m super busy I know I need at least two nights of nothing planned to have potentially one night of actually just chilling. Realising and accepting my restless helped, so I wouldn’t get mad at a night ‘wasted.’ And realise it’s just my brain dealing with all the junk in it and perhaps a good time to do chores – cooking soups for the week, cleaning, etc. Not the nights I want – reading, watching tv, in some relaxed bliss… but accepting sometimes that’s just not possible! And sometime sitting and staring into space is all I can do, or what’s actually the most needed! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

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