Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Step Two Revisited

(c) Andy Ternay
Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Beaten down, that's how I came into Alcoholics Anonymous. Fresh from a blackout night of violence and the shame and despair I felt afterwards. Today, right now, I am feeling a very similar dispair without the shame, violence or blackout. This is the despair of depression. Where do I go from here, since I am already in AA, to get help with this?

AA encourages us to see our doctors, psychiatrists and counselors. After all, AA is not intended to fulfill any of their functions. So, on 1/5/04 the psychiatrist I have been referred to reopens her practice for the year. I will call. I admit that my depression is such that I can't wait to get in to see her and if I can get an appointment this week, I will take it. I feel almost as though the wellbutrin I take has suddenly stopped working entirely.

That is not the only place I go too for help. Alcoholics Anonymous is designed to do one thing and one thing only: to help the alcoholic find a Power greater than her or himself which can keep that Alcoholic sober. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous is blunt, that it says, is the only reason it was even written. Well, if the Big Book itself can't help keep me sober, how about my sponsor and the fellowship of AA? It makes sense that a peer group of sober people would be able to keep me sober.

No it doesn't. I can have a peer group of women like I do at work, but I don't get a menstrual cycle. The reason why my sponsor and fellow AA's cannot keep me sober is painfully simple: all of these people are just as powerless over alcohol as I am.. If I could get Nici, my sponsor, to drink just a sip of Scotch, she would be off and running with the physical cravings for more alcohol and a brain telling her it was safe to drink it. Nici can't keep herself from drinking so she certainly can't keep me from drinking.

And for drinking, you can substitute other things. Today, right here, right now, for me drinking is not the relevant issue. Depression is. So, take the word drinking out of the above and substitute the word depression. Are you an overeater? Replace the above with food. Codependant? replace the above with...okay, I'm not as familiar with codependance as I should be.

The only thing that can keep me sober is a Power greater than myself. The only thing that can lift me from this depression is a Power greater than myself.

Nothing else has worked in the past. I've tried.

This Higher Power stuff does work.

Tomorrow I will try to write a little about my Higher Power. It will be all deep and meaningful and spiritual to me, and it will probably sound like a babbling, incoherent bullshit to any readers. I'm going to do it anyway because take away my job, my home, my wife, my coming baby, my pets, my money, it is still possible for me to live a happy, meaningful life. I am seeing it be done.

The bottom line is, that when all is said and done, the only thing that matters is my relationship with that Higher Power. The fulfillment that I get from all of these other things has meaning only because I have a basic undestanding of where it all comes from and where it all returns.

Goddess, today I am feeling really, really down to where I wish I were dead. I know that is not Your will for me; when You are ready, You will claim me. Please help me stay sober today. Let me be of use to someone else today. That's more than I have any right to ask. Thank You, Blessed Be.