I was raised with the idea that real men don’t depend on anyone but themselves. They don’t ask for help. My hero was the Marlboro man, a rough and tumble loner. Yet the reason I couldn’t allow anyone close was not my manliness, but fear. The fear you would find out what a loser I was. I went through life alone, pretending I was fine. I became self-sufficient. Certainly, there was no room for God in my life.

I felt I had to earn your love by doing everything perfectly. I lived with the stress of these old ideas for more than 30 years. I used my gifts to become a success in the world, but despite outward appearances, inside I was a shivering wreck. Alcohol made life bearable, even fun for a long time.  Little did I know alcohol was eroding my spiritual center. By the end of my drinking I was an empty shell. I had no interest or enthusiasm for anything except getting high. I was a dead man walking.

At age 47 I asked for help for the first time. I was led to Alcoholics Anonymous. Hope flooded in during my first meeting. I was graced with the willingness to jump in with both feet. Even then I realized this willingness didn’t come from me. I concluded there must be a benevolent power that will run my life if I learn to depend on it. Through the years I have done just that.

I demonstrate my dependence on God by continuing to do all that was suggested to me in my first week. I am asking God for help every time I attend a meeting, put my hand out to a newcomer, or practice a spiritual principle of the Twelve Steps in my daily life. Today I have the faith that if I continue to depend on the God of my own misunderstanding, I'll be shown the way out of any mess I get myself into. So, what’s there to worry about?