October 11, 2015 (this day)

IMG_0225I was part of a “higher power” discussion last night with a young man who is hesitant to do the steps because he is an atheist.  As he talked about the difficulty with finding a higher power as an atheist, he mentioned yoga, which I understand is a mental, physical, and spiritual practice, much like AA is a mental, physical, and spiritual recovery from active alcoholism and alcoholic drinking.  I don’t know much about yoga, but I wonder if it can “restore me to sanity.”  Do I need some semblance of sanity to practice it to begin with?  Do I need that to practice AA?

I’m in danger of twirling in a complicated mental circle.  Like I said last night and like I’ve said here, I don’t know if there is a supernatural or supreme being.  I don’t need to know to be successful in AA.  Our books suggest making AA or the group our higher power at first.  Here is a group of people who have solved the drinking problem, certainly a power greater than me.  That worked for me at first, and it works for me now.  I don’t mean the specific people who gathered at the group with me last night, although the same young man had a question about how to treat his sister.  All of the people within earshot voiced their opinion and agreed that he should not give her money.  I mean all of the people of AA from the beginning until now, and the program as it is written in the books and practiced by the people I come in contact with.  It is a power greater than me.  It is a plan for how to live and it is concrete, immediate, free and sane help with the specific details of my specific existence, here and now.

I don’t believe our young man should make a sponsor or a person his higher power.  Individuals are famously and sometimes tragically fallible.  But the program, its history, its present and its people are a higher enough power for me.  Personally, I can’t completely identify with someone who claims to be 100% atheist because I’m just never that sure of anything.  I can’t understand how those people don’t have a tiny doubt, but that doesn’t matter.  A power greater than them can restore them to sanity, and it can save them from an alcoholic existence and an alcoholic death.

One thought on “October 11, 2015 (this day)

  1. As always, Lydia, your words and thoughts and recovery process help me tremendously. Like you, I’m not sure enough of anything to know anything 100%, but I agree with what you told the young man, and hope he is able to allow your ideas a sliver of entry into his life. Thank you.

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