This I Believe

Bonnie - Kenosha, Wisconsin
Entered on November 8, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: parenthood
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I believe in the power of We, rather than in the power of I.

About 6 years ago, as my only child was entering her elementary school years and I was blessed to be a “stay at home” mom, I began drinking more frequently and heavier than I ever had before. My original idea of the “stay at home mom” who attended PTA, had lunch with friends, and “coffee clutched” with other moms was quickly squashed as I realized that every other mom in the neighborhood worked. Eventually, boredom set in, and what had once been a pleasurable indulgence quickly became a daily and destructive disease that took the joy out of life, left me severely depressed and suicidal, and nearly ruined my family unit.

I was embarrassed to admit that I was an alcoholic, but finally found my way to a program that taught and allowed me to lean on the power of We, rather than the power of I. I believe in a higher power of my understanding. Coming from a strong Christian background, I have wrestled my whole life with this version of the God – a single power – that organized religion offered me. It wasn’t until I began my program that I realized that to believe in a power greater than myself, a power of my own and original understanding, would restore my life, and give me hope.

I believe it is OK for that higher power to change shape and form in my mind – that it is powerful enough to do this so that I can realize it is with me in the form it needs to be at a particular time so that I can recognize it. Some days it is nature, other days, it will take the shape of a word or deed through another human being – most days, though, it is the power of a group of people with the same disease sharing and caring about each other, listening and empathizing, and most of all, understanding. This disease of alcoholism shouts loudly in my mind at times – it is not now so much a drinking problem, but a thinking problem. I will always be alcoholic, but the way my mind is wired and thinks were the symptoms that lead me to “self medicate” in the first place. And that thinking process will always be with me. But my Higher Power is so secure in who it is, it only has to whisper – and together, we work it out and keep the ongoing healing process simple. Some days we’re better at this than others, but that, too, I believe is how it is supposed to be.

Voicing these beliefs within the confines of my program is easy. Revealing them in the “real world” is something that is getting easier, though still uncomfortable as I fear rejection. But what I fear more is losing myself once more in the beliefs handed down by others, rather than the beliefs of my own soul.

And for this freedom, and the power of We, I am grateful.