Updated: Apr 10
"We are looking forward, at last, with the courage that trusting a Higher Power has given us."
- Hazelden Meditations
In April 2020, I had no idea what lay ahead of me. My husband Barry and I were quarantined against the Covid virus in our townhome with our dog and two cats. The pandemic caused me to lose my job and Barry was now working from home in our office space that was once the family room.
The world had shut down and the future was a huge question mark.
Listening to the daily news of rising Covid cases and deaths brought on severe anxiety and depression. I tried to lift my spirits I by reading inspirational stories, watching comedies and journaling but nothing brought relief. Trying to numb my feelings and escape the frightening world, I resorted to drinking heavier than usual. It escalated from glasses of vodka after five o'clock to guzzling it 24/7. The empty bottles hiding in my closet were rapidly piling up.
Alcohol had already been the driver of my life's car and it had caused many metaphoric accidents over the years, but now the car was out of control and heading toward a cliff.
Three months into the pandemic, and fearing I was dying of my disease, I told my husband, "I have to go to detox."
At first I believed getting clean and my body out of danger would be enough, but after a few days in detox the addiction counselors recommended further in-patient rehabilitation for my alcoholism and depression.
I agreed, thinking it would be only for a month. I checked into rehab and was there for five months.
It was in rehab that I was indoctrinated into the 12 Step program of recovery.
After two weeks of mandatory nightly meeting attendance, I began to realize I actually liked going. I related to the members and their stories, ranging from the desperation and despair of addiction to the hope and the joys of sobriety. I was learning so much, not just about alcoholism, but about life and how to live it fully, happily and soberly.
I began to have hope.
First, I had to admit I was powerless over alcohol. I had to get honest.
Then I had to be open that a Power greater than myself could restore me to sanity, This wasn't very difficult because of my belief in God. During my active alcoholism though, I lost some of my connection -- praying only on holidays and times of need. Through the recovery program, I became open to trusting the fellowship and reconnecting with God -- praying daily and placing my will in His hands.
Next I had to be willing to give up my will to God, I didn't understand how to do it. I began each day with prayer and asked Him for guidance, but I wasn't sure if I was really doing His will or mine.
Fortunately a breakthrough came during a meeting I went to. Sitting quietly on my folding chair I concentrated on the shares, hoping to hear something that would help. The meeting was almost over, and I still wasn't getting it, when a man seated near me raised his hand and said he felt he was doing God's will by "Just doing the next right thing."
Thinking about his words on my drive home it suddenly hit me. "God is the only one who knows or decides what's right" I thought. "I certainly don't!"
I realized, by my "doing the next right thing" I was actually giving up my will and doing His!
He knows the way. I handed the steering wheel of my life over to Him.
Since that realization, giving my will to my God is an integral part of my life and directs my daily thoughts and decisions. Every morning I pray for His will to be done, for me to be His messenger and to "Just do the next right thing."
With God steering the wheel of my car of life I'm able to relax in the passenger seat, with space to stretch and grow and the opportunity to enjoy the view.