FAITH MONTH: DAY 6: “Faith in faith’ he answered himself. ‘It isn’t necessary to have something to believe in. It’s only necessary to believe that somewhere there’s something worthy of belief.”― Alfred Bester
Most of us were told to “act as if” when we were new, at least in the old days. And to pray for the willingness to be willing. I needed those reminders because I was not sure of any of this stuff. Recovery is an interesting world. We get faith by doing things that make us step out of our comfort zone and pretending we believe. It does not come until after we take the action. Same with courage. We get the courage to take an action by taking the action, even when we don’t believe we have the faith or the courage. They come later.
That is challenging for us addicts who insist on a sure bet. Which is crazy when you think about it. There had not been any sure bets in my life for a long time, and here I am demanding guaranteed results. Huh? I never knew if the drugs were going to be any good this time, but I did them anyway. Even though the results had long since stopped being what I was looking for. Habit…and no real replacement in the works.
Alcohol was a real crapshoot, because sometimes it would take 5 or 6 drinks to get relief or 1 could put me into a total blackout state and I was just drinking to have something to do. It was usually dangerous, and the results were horrible. But I did it anyway. Ugh!
I remember helping a new member when I had about 11 months or so. She did NOT want to take Step 3. We were discussing it in depth. I think she was 16. A terrible time to get sober, but she did and still is. Bless you Bonnie! Anyway, I remember being struck with an analogy that still amazes me.
I told her that I knew damned well alcohol and drugs were not going to help me, but I still turned my life and my will over to the care of a plate of white powder every day, and then added scotch or tequila to top it off. It took me into the most horrible places I ever went, but I still did it. I had some kind of faith that it was the solution, even against substantial evidence to the contrary. It demanded things of me that still make me want to cry because they were horrible. Yet, I continued to do whatever was required to keep them in my life. Whatever was required! Ugh!
And, even at that early stage in my recovery, I was able to assure her that Step 3 had NEVER required anything from me but to pretend like I had faith in SOMETHING and look how amazing THESE results were! So, how on earth could I not do it? The evidence was there…proof that some kind of faith in this Step was so much better than anything I had ever had before. Maybe that would not be the case for her, but it sure as hell was for me. I have never had any trouble with Step 3 again. I don’t know if she still remembers that story, but it blew ME away. Thanks Bonnie!
So I stopped believing in cocaine and booze and began to believe that Step 3 was the best thing to come along. It has changed a great deal in my world and still does. What a great way to find it!