From the November 2013 magazine.

November 2013: Square Peg, Round Hole

When she catches herself struggling too much, it’s time for Step Eleven

I was blessed to embrace Step One without reservations from the beginning. But then I stalled, as I wasn’t going to do “the God thing.” Like many of us, I’d been raised in a church and been at one time quite devout; but over the years and many drinks, I had come to see my faith as misguided. I had exchanged the loving God my parents taught me about for the punishing, sexist, jealous and cruel God that I wanted nothing to do with. I called myself a “seeker,” but I really had no idea where to begin seeking outside of the bottle.

Then I came to AA, took Step One, and made my womens’ group my Higher Power. This actually worked for me from March to August, when my sponsor decided to start a Sunday morning Eleventh Step meeting. As an early riser, I enthusiastically embraced the idea of a morning meeting, but the Eleventh Step? I whined at her (she still says I am the best whiner she ever met) that I didn’t want to do the God thing. She suggested I get over it. She also suggested that I begin praying to something. Around that time I saw a movie in which one of the characters prays to the “Great Creative Force of the Universe”—I thought I could do that. In fact, in a sense I still do, though I use the word God as a short form.

-- Mary C.

Elloree, South Carolina

This is a preview. To view the full article, use the link below to begin a free 7-day trial!