Asking for Help

A minute after she declared that I had probably had a drinking problem, the therapist looked deeply into my eyes like she was looking into my soul. "You're in trouble aren't you Jeff?" My ego fought hard against the truth. "Maybe," I admitted.

As it turned out, this slight admission that perhaps there was this one tiny aspect of life I couldn't handle myself -- this pesky 30 year drinking problem -- was just enough to give my Higher Power an opening to begin to work in my life. Many years later I'm only slightly better at admitting I need help. I'm getting pretty good at asking for help on the big stuff, but my response to the challenges and vexations of daily living is usually "OK God move over, I'll take it from here" rather than "Thy will not my will be done."

Self-will holds me hostage when things don't go according to my script. My attitude plunges and I begin to look at the world through crap-colored glasses. I usually try and fail to coach myself out of it. I even try praying, but it feels like I have my fingers crossed behind my back. A part of me doesn't really want to feel better. Finally, reluctantly, I call another alcoholic and let him know what was going on with me. After the call a tiny bit of light seeps in and the darkness began to evaporate. A short time later my positive attitude returns.

Help is what I needed before I got sober and help is what I need today, but admitting I need help and asking for it doesn't come easy. I was raised to be a rugged individualist and those old tapes are still playing. Fortunately the whole AA program is set up for people like me. In one sense everything I do in AA is an admission directly or indirectly that I need help. Attending meetings, calling other alcoholics, putting out my hand to newcomers, being of service to the group, sponsoring, reading the literature and working the steps are all ways I ask my Higher Power for help. Help always comes if I am willing to take the actions that prove I really want help.