Most people believe that faith is a feeling we have when we believe in God. But faith is sometimes a decision we make which is followed by a feeling of well-being.
In 1982, I had no faith and I ended up having a nervous breakdown because of my alcoholism and love addiction. I was suicidal and trying to starve myself to death. I felt that without romantic love and the man I loved at the time [Barry], that life was not worth living. I obsessed about Barry and drank myself into oblivion.
One day, Barry asked to meet with me. We sat down at his desk and he turned to me and said: “I cannot love you the way you want me to, but I care and want you to know that God loves you and wants you to live. Try to have a little faith that this too shall pass.”
I looked at him in shock and said, “What are you talking about? I don’t want friendship or God. I want you to love me the way a man loves a woman and to buy me a drink.” I started screaming: “God does not exist. She died in childbirth. There is surely a creator but not some deity who loves and cares for us. If God loves us why does he let us suffer?”
Barry explained that God does not always intervene in life because of free will but he does care. He added: “If you choose to believe this then you will have the strength to carry on no matter how bad things get.”
I calmed down and asked: “How do you have faith if you know nothing about God and do not feel his presence?” “Well,” he said, “First you become open minded and take a leap into the unknown. You put your fear aside and make a decision to want faith. You surround yourself with spiritual people and you read some spiritual literature. Not religious books but articles about how much God loves you. Learn to meditate. Try Yoga. Sit in silence and see what happens. Turn off all the noise.” Be still and know God within.
After this meeting with Barry, I decided to take his advice. I did what he said and slowly let God in. Now I believe that spirituality is like a safe:
"If you listen closely when you unlock a safe, there comes a moment when you hear a click and the tumblers finally fall into place. You can’t really see what’s happening, but your fingers move and it all comes together. The beginning of [spirituality] is like this. You do something different and finally something clicks. It is all very mysterious. You don’t really understand it, but when it happens you know, and you immediately open the safe and take out your valuables. In this case, the valuables locked up in the safe are all the wonderful things you will become when you change [your attitude about God.] And the key to all this is taking action. You don’t just sit there and stare at the safe. You do something. [You make a decision to become spiritual]." The Art of Changing, Susan Peabody
Once you take the first step everything will have a life of its own. You will be surprised at how happy you are and how much energy you have now that you know you are loved. Romantic love will feel tame next to this kind of love. From this point on there is no turning back.
Join the conversation, become a Fix blogger. Share your experience, strength, and hope, or sound off on the issues affecting the addiction/recovery community. Create your account and start writing: https://www.thefix.com/add-community-content.