Addictions as Gods

“Step Three completes the surrender initiated in Step One. In that Step we acknowledge the ways we are powerless over substances; in this Step we seek out and commit ourselves to accepting a spiritual power. We move from trying to cope with the world through manipulating our consciousness with gross physical intoxication to attuning ourselves to a subtler realm wherein acceptance and alignment with truth brings a deeper and truer transformation. In a sense, alcoholism, drug addiction, and other dysfunctional behaviors are the act of turning our will, unconsciously, over to a destructive higher power. In Step Three we consciously turn our will over to a constructive power, or at least turn our focus toward our spiritual growth and away from our spiritual destruction.”

-Description of Step Three by Kevin Griffith, One Breath at a Time: Buddhism and the 12 Steps

For many years, a cornucopia of substances or behaviors served as my primary (maladaptive) coping mechanisms, and more devastatingly, as my objects of worship.

With alcohol, ruminating thoughts, and porn leading the way as the most tenacious and pernicious, I genuflected before a whole pantheon of addictions throughout my life before I finally surrendered my “self-will run riot” to the Higher Power of my understanding.

Over time, my Higher Power happens to have evolved into a tossed salad comprised of a plethora of ingredients, including unconditional love, unremitting light, relief from suffering, perseverance in suffering, and the Fellowships of AA and SAA. I call this amalgamation God. And I surrender my will and my life to God each day, with a faith built on 10 years of practice and never having been beaten into the ground as I was by my addictions

But it wouldn’t matter if it was nature, the Earth, Jesus, Allah, The Father, the Sun, logic, other people, or a roll of paper towels. So long as I fully invest my will and my life into a power that I believe is greater than me, and act according to the shared wisdom, experience, strength, hope, and principles of AA and SAA, I know from experience that my life will be infinitely better than it was when I was worshipping alcohol, ruminating thoughts, or porn, and was on the treacherous path to spiritual destruction.


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