I didn’t just wander into “the rooms” because I needed to fill an empty night on my calendar. I was broken and emotionally bankrupt, and financially low on cash as well. My 39 year-old sister was dying from cancer, and we all handled it badly. We were desperate to have more time with her, and we turned on each other. I blamed my Higher Power for all of my despair.
I Didn’t Trust My Higher Power
When I came to recovery, I was MAD at God. I spent my whole life following His rules only to be used, rejected, and heartbroken. For years, I cried out for Him to save me, but because I was deep in denial, I felt forsaken. When I learned the first step was to trust in a Higher Power, a God of my choosing, I was relieved to have options. After all, being vulnerable and transparent with someone is quite difficult when you’re punishing Him with the silent treatment.
Celebrate Recovery recommends Jesus as a Higher Power. Being raised in church, I loved the idea of relating with God’s Son while still keeping a safe distance from the One I was blaming. In Al-Anon, we reach out to a “Power greater than ourselves” or to “God as we understand Him.” Maybe your God is my God, or maybe not. Maybe the collective group of friends in recovery is your source of strength and replenishment. The key is to begin to trust in someone bigger than yourself.
Taking the Steps Increases My Assets
Before I can be in a position to forgive emotional debts, I have to replenish my assets. But how? If I could’ve answered that question on my own, I would’ve never sought help. In May of 2015, I finally went to a meeting. I kept going back because ONE person saw value in me.
Many different problems shared in recovery improve with the same steps: Trust your Higher Power and take care of yourself. At first, I scoffed at this ridiculously simple answer. Six months in, I still considered this process to be hokum. Finally after ten months, I saw the connection. Little by little, taking care of myself grew into a very small, quiet love for me. That small love opened the door just a crack so I could consider that maybe my Higher Power loved me too.
My Higher Power’s role in my recovery is like an angel food cake. Both start with a sloppy mess, add two of the most unlikely ingredients, and turn it into a sweet reward.
Angel Food Cake
- 12 egg whites
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring (optional)
- 1 teaspoon coconut flavoring (optional)
- 1 cup flour (Gluten-free for me)
- Unlikely ingredients – something unseen and lots of time
- Separate the eggs. The easiest way is to crack the egg into your hand. Let the whites slip through your fingers into a large mixing bowl below. Dump the yolk in a separate bowl or the trash. My mom taught me to save the yokes to make noodles. I keep them out of guilt. A week later I pitch them because I have no interest in making noodles. (I’ll be in recovery for a while.)
- Let the egg whites come to room temperature. Read this as investing time, like time invested in recovery.
- With a mixer, beat the eggs until they are light and frothy.
- Sprinkle the sugar, cream of tartar, vanilla, and other flavorings on top of the eggs.
- Beat eggs on high until the egg whites form stiff peaks. They are done when you can see mixer tracks in the eggs. This step adds air, something unseen, much like faith in your Higher Power.
- Fold in 1/3 cup of flour at a time. Folding, like recovery, takes a gentle approach and time. If you’re new to this technique – sprinkle the flour on top of the egg whites. Run a soft plastic spatula along the edge of your bowl down to the bottom. Bring your spatula up through the middle. Repeat. Go slow. Easy does it. And don’t stir. Stirring deflates your egg whites.
- Pour batter into an ungreased Angel food or Bundt cake pan. Leave the pan ungreased so the batter can climb the sides.
- Cook at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Crust should be a light golden brown.
- Turn cake upside down on a cooling rack for an hour.