Through my active addiction I lost my connection with God. It was not him that turned his back on me, but me who turned my back on him. My ego and selfishness had become so great that I felt I did not need God, and I was in charge of my own life, not him. When I started drinking and using drugs my life completely unraveled very quickly. I had lost my job, totalled my car, ruined relationships with my friends and family, and was depressed and suicidal, I was lost and hopeless. I could not stop on my own and I thought the only way out was to commit suicide.
This complete despair led me into a program of recovery through Alcoholics Anonymous. The third step in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous states that we “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.” Now a very important part of this step is that it states a God of our understanding. This means that everyone will have their own individual conception of God, or a higher power. For me I was raised in the church and God was always a huge part of my life. This was not as difficult for me to identify as it was for some others because I already had faith. The God of my understanding was in fact God and what he was when I grew up. The hardest part for me was turning my will and my life over to the care of him. No addict wants to believe they are different that others, but in fact we are and need a specific set of steps and work a program in order to stay happy and sober.
My Spiritual Experience and Reconnecting with God Through the 12 Steps of AA
Through the 12 steps I have replaced my impersonal, unconnected, fearful, and rule-making idea of God with a higher power that is personal, loving, kind, gentle, compassionate, patient. Like with any relationship I have to dedicate my time, energy, trust, faith, and love. I have to show up fully. Faith, willingness, and humility are what the Big Book states are essential in this relationship.
Through my journey in recovery I was able to reconnect with God through my spiritual experience and realized he had been with me the entire time protecting me through even my darkest times. I talk to God and pray throughout the day asking for strength, guidance, and to carry out his will. I hit my knees every morning and ask him to help guide me in my recovery, and at night thank him for getting me through another day sober. My connection with God is now stronger than ever and I am able to live the healthy, happy, and sober life today as he intended it to be!
I thank God everyday that I was able to get the help I needed so desperately to heal, and begin on my journey of recovery. Overcoming depression, anxiety, and a eating disorder can be especially difficult to overcome and dual diagnosis treatment is incredibly important. Just like alcohol and drug abuse there are deeper issues that are causing these behaviors. Once they are identified, and treated by a professional you learn healthy coping mechanisms.
Crystal Hampton is a 37-year-old avid writer from South Florida. She loves snuggling with her teacup yorkie Gator and boyfriend Adam. She works for a digital marketing company that advocates spreading awareness on the disease of addiction. Her passion in life is to help others by sharing her experience, strength, and hope.
MS- Masters in Applied Behavior Analysis
B.Ed.- Bachelors in Elementary Education