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Feeling Supported

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Longtimers used to say, “Either you’ll get the God-thing, or you’ll put a gun in your mouth.” At a recent meeting, some men shared about having suicidal thoughts. I had been a part of that misanthropic club, so I may be a terminal case, but I’m not unique.

The God-thing must be easier for religious folks. I can’t buy a mass-marketed product called “God.” The hands of man must have fashioned that product out of necessity. It’s good that the founders added “as we understood” to the language of the Steps and Big Book.

I first felt God’s presence while in recovery during my worst emotional crisis. A flash of recognition convinced me that my worst fear had become reality. My spiritual awakening made me feel supported. But what supported me? What made sense was that the love and understanding of members at an OA meeting were supporting me. My feelings metamorphosed from a jumble of fear, destruction, pain, and sadness into a plush comforter of love, acceptance, peace, serenity, and a profound sense that Everything was Going to Be Okay (EGBOK).

EGBOK didn’t mean everything was going to be perfect. It didn’t mean life would be easy, my difficulties would disappear, and I would find bliss. It meant it was possible to accept life on life’s terms: “And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today” (Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., p. 417).

Was I accepting the God-thing? I don’t know. My phrase became, “God as I do not understand God.” To understand something, I must get a handle on it, wrap it up, tie a ribbon on it, and see where it ends and everything else begins. I cannot do that with God.

How was I supposed to “turn it over” with this God? What would this God do that I couldn’t do for myself? What could and would this God do if sought?

God doesn’t do things for me. My God-consciousness enables me to do them for myself. This often requires asking others for help, which pierces my ego’s veil, or armor, and opens me to benevolence and love. God-consciousness enables me to admit my powerlessness, surrender to it, and accept whatever gift helps me abstain from compulsive overeating. Though I may not get the answers to life’s persistent questions, I can accept that and go on living a life filled with possibilities. I like these uncertain and ambiguous possibilities. No ultimate reality exists, which keeps life interesting.

I feel supported, like the buoyancy experienced when we stop struggling in water. I let go of fear, and my trust grows. The more it grows, the more I release from my tight-fisted grasp. I sense something intangible and spiritual is supporting me. I suppose it shall remain a mystery, and that’s okay.

— Steven H., Irvine, California USA

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