How much time is in a year… 1 year, 12 months, 365 days, 8760 hours, 525,600 minutes, 31,536,000 seconds….
Every second in the past year has taught me something new. I am on this never ending journey for truth, and enlightenment. I am finding these truths through sobriety. I would have never found this truth any other way but this.
I find it hard sometimes to explain to people why it had to be this way. I mean I enjoy now being able to share my story because I believe that honesty is the only way to find the real truth. When I say honesty I don’t just mean being honest by not lying or just telling the truth. Honesty meaning being so completely honest with yourself and to yourself that everything else comes together.
How did I come to this point in my life? You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.
Before drafting the Big Book, Bill W. had been a skeptic about spiritual matters. In his autobiography, he describes himself at one point as “incapable of faith.” That changed later, when Bill came to see himself as an alcoholic doomed to an early death unless he stopped drinking.
One night, during a hospital stay, Bill cried out, “If there be a God, let him show himself.” The response was immediate: Suddenly my room blazed with an indescribably white light. I was seized with an ecstasy beyond description. . . . Then came the blazing thought, “You are a free man.” (From Bill W. My First 40 Years, page 145)
Even so, Bill later doubted the experience. “My scientific education asserted itself,” he wrote. “It told me that I was hallucinating, that this just couldn’t be so.” Bill came to accept his new spiritual viewpoint–and the notion of his sanity–only after consulting a psychiatrist.
Now I never saw a white light or had what you might call a spiritual awakening, I did however become clear in thought. I truly wanted what others I had seen in the rooms of AA had, I wanted that feeling of despair and hopelessness to go away and I wanted so badly to find some kind of reprieve from the pain I felt every moment of every day.
I had searched my heart and found that nothing I could do nothing at all could make me believe in God. I tried, really I did. I went to every church imaginable and still couldn’t find him. And never did. I did however find myself through meditation. I tried and tried to be all Zen and hoping that I could find peace. I didn’t and I am not surprised I didn’t because I was looking in all the wrong places. I found a book written by a guy who was in the 80’s punk scene and became a Buddhist teacher. I read this book thinking ‘’cool, punk rock and Buddha, why the hell not?” I was blown away at how this book changed my perspective on everything and I figured out how to truly find that “Higher Power” that we alcoholics need to make this program work.
I was looking at everything the wrong way, much like how was living my life. I needed to focus on now, and not dwell in the past, because if you truly live in the present then the past no longer matters because it no longer exists.
Whoa! That past no longer exists because we live in the present. I never looked at it like that. Now that doesn’t mean that the things you did won’t be relevant now because everything you do has consequences. Everything.
I am able to finally look at my life and be happy, Anger no longer controls me and I enjoy life. I will still make mistakes and I will fall down. But getting back up will no longer mean life or death anymore.
This past year has taught me so much about living that I have to write about it because it’s worth retelling. Everyone’s life is worth it, not just mine. I choose to share my story because it helps me stay honest with myself and keeps me accountable.
So when people ask, how did you do it how are you doing it? I tell them I found myself and that’s the truth. No matter who your god may be, your higher power lives within you. You have the power to be able to love yourself, forgive and move forward. Share your love, and be grateful that we have so much to offer.