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Bear Claws and Dr. Pepper

For me, to talk about my recovery in the past 20 years I have to talk about God....and the role God plays in my sobriety.


In the meeting rooms, as to not offend anyone, God is referred to as “ your higher power.” There are views that range from....”if you don’t have a higher can’t stay sober” all the way to ”I don’t believe in a higher power....and I’m still sober.” Like in every large group of people....God & religion can be tricky topics.


For the past 20 years.....some days I have prayed and some days I have not....and have managed to not drink on either.


I grew up in a home with two parents of very strong faith. My childhood was filled with Sunday school classes and mass on Sunday. Like most young was not much of a choice....but rather a requirement. We prayed before dinner every night. My parents worked hard to send me to a private Catholic high school....probably harder than I realized at the time. It was very important to them.


For the first 24 years of my life....before I stopped drinking....I would say that I believed in God....but didn’t really have any type of relationship with God....If I’m being completely honest....I never even really thought about it.


As I have mentioned previously, in sobriety I was going to church a lot. I did anything to feel better....different. But I went to church a lot like how I went to meetings in the beginning....I just went.....I didn’t form any kind of relationships.


When I finally began to develop a relationship with God in sobriety.....I had to separate God from religion....from the institution. As an far....My God has seemed to be OK with that. I have always believed that if I just put my head down and moved forward the best I could that things would get better in sobriety. The phrase “He either is ....or he is isn’t....and if he is.....what is the worry of this moment?”....has allowed me to sleep at night, take a leap or sometimes even a breath. For me....relationships can make me feel vulnerable.....important relationships.....very vulnerable......Faith’s like fighting naked.


At some point I decided to be more conscious of the decisions I was making. If I was counting on God to take away the “worry” in my life....I should in any relationship....try to hold up my side of things. That just seemed fair to me.


I remember shortly thereafter walking into the break room at work to get my normal breakfast from the vending machine....a Bear claw and a Dr. Pepper. Then it hit me....God would probably want me to have fruit, oatmeal and orange juice. Oh brother. Really....seriously....I now have to debate things like this in my head for the rest of the day....much less my just started and I can already see this relationship is going to be a pain in my ass. I was already thinking about breaking up.

After all, my closest friend had not had a drink in 3 years and he didn’t believe in God or go to meetings. He didn’t have to deal with whether or not his breakfast came from a machine or a deli....and he is as happy and healthy as anyone I know. He could essentially eat from the vending machine (metaphorically speaking) without guilt or retribution....not really.

In my experience, healthy people are healthy because they make good choices.... whether they believe in God or not....good choices tend to lead to a healthy life....and on and on....

Personally....for the people in my life, I care about two things: Are they healthy and are they happy. How they achieve health and happiness and whether they believe, don’t believe....or are hedging their bet....That’s up to them.


After 20 years of not is what I know about my God....sometimes my God wants me to have fruit, oatmeal and orange juice for breakfast....and sometimes he wants to me to have a Bear Claw and a Dr. Pepper.


To God – Thank you. I love you. I’m all in.


Stay Tuned....or Don't

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