Yesterday I watched with sadness the funeral of my childhood idol Whitney Houston. Her music was a big part of my growing up and she was without a doubt one of the greatest female singers of our time. Whitney and I had a a few things in common. We are both addicts and we both came to recovery with a deep belief in God. Whitney’s love of the lord was mentioned several times in the service but the lord could not keep her sober. She held onto her will and could not recognize her lack of power over her disease. Like many people who come to AA they come with the God of their religion they believe from the bottom of their hearts that Jesus, or Allah, or Budda or whomever their God is loves them. My God loved me I was sure of that but I had a problem the problem of addiction and that “demon” as Whitney herself called it prevented me from surrendering to that God or any God over the power of my disease. No amount of religious teaching had taught me about surrender of my will.
The founders of AA Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith or Bill W. and Dr. Bob as they are known in AA knew exactly what they were doing when they called the God in AA our Higher Power. If they called him Jesus I certainly would not have joined AA been there done that. There is something so deeply spiritual about the God we find through working the steps of AA that there is not explanation for it. It simply is. The 12 steps takes us through a process to find that God who has the power to keep us sober. So many addicts simply do not get it and take their power which is not real anyways back over and over until it takes them to their death. The dilemma of the alcoholic or addict is giving up the illusion of power that they think they have. For some its easy, but for many its tough and for others impossible. It seems it was impossible for Whitney to replace her demon with God’s power and her funeral yesterday was the tragic consequence. I have watched family members die over and over from the disease. I have seen them return their power to the bottle until it takes them to their graves. The general public may scoff at AA but the truth is that their is special spirituality to be found in AA which I and so many others could never find anywhere else. May God Bless Dr. Bob and Bill W. for giving us what is truly a miracle the simple 12 steps of AA fro a compliced problem. The steps helps us find a God of our understanding to turn our power over to. For those who do it and complete the steps the end result is life, peace and happiness. If nothing else comes of this talented, beautiful troubled woman’s death let it at least be that more addicts start to understand that the God of our religion is not enough, nor is our faith only a spiritual solution will put the dragon back in the cage and save our lives. When newcomers scoff at the idea of spiruality and refuse to take the steps in AA I tell them go drink some more and come back when they are ready to try anything if they make it back that is. I know no other way to find a power that keeps me sober, I tried them all. It is true that since I have been in AA my Faith has deepened but every Sunday after church I go to AA to remind myself that is where I truly belong and that is the only place I found a solution that keeps me sober.