My understanding of God has not improved since I joined the fellowship and took the steps. In fact, I probably understand God less today than I did when I was sitting in front of the TV day after day with my bottle of wine and bag of pot. Back then I believed that God created the universe and everything in it, but the rest was up to me. It was "dog eat dog" world where only the successful, the strongest, survive. I didn't need God while I was achieving worldly success. I was the center of my universe.

Then alcoholism began to have its way with me. Slowly it robbed me of interest in my career and enthusiasm for life. It took away my relationships, my health and my self respect. My days became predictable, mechanical and routine. I had absolutely nothing to look forward to except the next drink. Denial kept me from seeing this truth. I was pretty close to hopeless, but didn't know it.

My best thinking was that a new high paying job that would solve all my problems. When I couldn't find the motivation to even write a new resume I went to a therapist to find out why. Thank God she told me the truth -- in her words I didn't have an ounce of humility in my whole body, I had the emotional maturity of a 13 year old, and my mind was so cloudy from my drinking that I could not hope to get any clarity on my life. Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! She said she couldn't help me but she knew a treatment center that could.

A few days later I walked into my first AA meeting. Almost immediately the obsession to drink was removed. This fact continues to be the cornerstone of my faith because I could not explain how, after 30 years of relying on alcohol as the solution to my life, I could wake up one day and not think about drinking at all. I didn't know what it was called at the time, but today I know I had received Grace. My higher power did for me what I could not do for myself.

Grace comes to me in exact proportion to my desire for it and my reliance upon it. I demonstrate my desire for grace by trying to the best of my ability to practice the 12 steps in all areas of my life. When I remember to do this my day turns out pretty damn good. This is not blind faith, but a faith born of my experience.