By: Mike Murphy, Transformations Manager of Alumni Services

Buckle up, kiddos. It’s gonna be a bumpy one.

Firstly, let me start off by saying I know some people are going to disagree with my take on this and that is fine. Hell, it’s normal. Wait. Should I have said “hell?” I would hate for us to get off on the wrong foot.

One of the biggest conversations/debates we hear in recovery has to do with the presence of God. A person’s “Higher Power” or whatever else you want to call it. Or, the absence of it. I am a firm believer that everyone’s recovery is different. We all may have similar stories, but the similarities are where it ends.

Some people have a hard time accepting a God or Higher Power into their lives when getting sober. I know, because I was one of them. I, like most people when making the decision to get sober, was about as low as low can be. I was also the victim. And when it came to God, I was an opportunist. I only wanted to talk to God when I needed something. So, when I found myself at Transformations attempting to salvage what I had left of my shell of a life, I wasn’t surprised by all the God-talk. But, people weren’t saying God. They were talking about their “Higher Power.”

At this point, I wasn’t too sure what I had gotten myself into. Sounded kinda cult-y. But, I also knew that my life was in shambles (putting it lightly) and I needed to be as open-minded as possible if I was gonna make this work. Also, I’m a Marine. Wanna talk about cult-y?! We damn near wrote the book on it! So, instead of dismissing it, I opened my ears and my mind, listening to what it was all about.

  • “My interpretation of God”
  • “As we understood Him”

After much explaining and describing, it finally started making some sense to me. This Power-Greater-Than-Myself….Could mean whatever I wanted it to be? It didn’t have to fit the cookie-cutter mold I had been told my whole life. It didn’t have to be this one, concrete undeniable entity? Insert: MIND BLOWN.

For the longest time, I had considered myself Agnostic. Nowadays? I’m not even sure what I would label myself. Am I religious? Certainly not. Spiritual? I have my moments. God-fearing? Hard pass. But, do I believe in something that helps keep me on track and making the right decisions, even when I want to do the opposite? Do I believe in something that gives me that nudge when I need it? Yes to both. And so much more. I like to think of it as a relationship with my greater self. I do not have an image in my mind, there is no voice; there is nothing. Nothing but a concept. A concept of my own making.

Much like sobriety, I am not here to push anything on anyone. Attraction not promotion, right? And I am WELL aware that there are people that get sober and maintain long-term sobriety without the idea of a Higher Power or God. One of my best friends tells me this CONSTANTLY. Even without me asking. She would make a great Vegan Crossfitter. But, I digress. I can only speak about my own recovery and what has worked for me. And in my case, having this invisible moral accountant in my mind keeping tabs on me has helped more than I ever could have imagined. Not just in my sobriety, but in my mental health, as well. And, I can say without the shadow of a doubt, that it has absolutely played a role in my being a better human being. Or at least TRYING to be.

Now, if anyone needs me, I’ll be looking at Chris Rock/Will Smith memes. It is “Progress, Not Perfection” after all, right?

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Response and Updates for Clients, Families, and Referents Read More