When I entered a recovery program and I was exposed to the 12 steps, I was terrified. I saw that "Higher Power" was mentioned in step 2 and I was distraught. Growing up in a strict religion and household I had come to the conclusion that God hated me, that I could not do anything that would please Him and that I was doomed to Hell.
I do not blame the church for my distorted perceptions because it did teach confession and that God does forgive us... but somehow in my warped dysfunctional mind I never "heard" that part. As a result, I believed in a Higher Power that was vengeful, unloving and punishing. I believed that there was no hope for me and I was a bad person and that God hated me.
When I saw that Higher Power was involved with recovery, I knew the program was not for me. The only problem was that I had no where else to go. I had hit a bottom in my alcoholism and drug addiction and I was emotionally dead, and physically I was damaged forever. Recovery in a 12 step program was my last desperate grasp at finding a life worth living. I would have stood on my hands and walked through broken glass if that would have stopped me from craving and obsessing over alcohol and drugs any longer.
By desperately listening, I learned that a person does not even have to believe in God to be a part of the 12 step program. Alcoholics seeking recovery who have no understanding of a God can simply find something greater than themselves to believe in. Often, using the recovery group is a simple way for a person struggling with the concept of God to find hope.
Most have to admit that a group of recovering alcoholics has more power together than one lone alcoholic floundering through life. This very basic concept of a Higher Power often leads the recovering alcoholic to expanding their vision and belief in a much greater Higher Power... whatever that may be.
It does not matter what a person calls their Higher Power. It can be God, The Universe, Buddha, Mother Nature or whatever. What matters is how the person perceives their Higher Power and the belief and faith that their "Higher Power" will keep them sober.
Most practicing alcoholics and addicts have heard for many years from others that they never will be good enough, can do nothing right and are disappointments. As a result, alcoholics and addicts believe this about themselves. They believe they are worthless and no matter what they do it will never be good enough. As an addict, I had no self-esteem and was clinging through life with my distorted views because I was constantly drunk or high.
However, there is help available. I am a first hand example that an alcoholic and a drug addict can get well by recognizing their hitting bottom, seeking professional help and then finding a recovery group. The combination of both helped me to reclaim my life and learn to truly live without hiding behind my addictions.
Of course, learning to function without alcohol and drugs was a process... it did not happen overnight. I drank and drugged for 10 years and I knew that the horrific darkness that I felt inside was not going to go away quickly. But the pain did start subsiding and I did find a new sober life of happiness.
Loved Back to Life is a book about the journey of an alcoholic and drug addict woman whose battle with the disease turns from hopeless to inspiring and amazing. The author, Amy "AJ" Crowell, M.B.A. is a recovered alcoholic and addict who has not had a drink or a drug since April of 1988.
All is exposed in her life, growing up with a raging alcoholic father and ghost-like codependent mother. The book reveals the progression of a teenager's life beginning with alcohol and drug experimentation to full blown alcoholism and cocaine addiction to narrowly escaping death as a young adult. This is a MUST read for every parent because it divulges secrets of an addicted teenager indicating the warning signs to watch for with their own child. Those who are concerned with a family member's, friend's or co-worker's addiction will find help in understanding the scope of alcoholism and what can be done to find assistance.
The book is a shocking realization of what many of our youth (and adults) are doing to themselves without caring about their futures. It exposes how alcohol and drugs are harming their minds and bodies causing depression and contributing to many suicides.