The following is a guest blog by one of our program director, Brandon Berry.
When I first got sober in 2002 I had no idea what I was doing. I had spent the last 10 years of my life getting high and manufacturing methamphetamine. I had never thought about getting sober till the day I got to rehab. I didn’t know what the steps were and I had never been to a meeting. In some way that was actually a good thing. I didn’t have any preconceived Ideas and I had a lot of willingness because I had just gotten out of prison and I had no one left in my life.
Thankfully, it didn’t seem like they were asking me to do too much, just don’t use and work the steps. I thought what have I got to lose? Might as well give it a try.
I’m someone who likes to break everything down into small components so I can understand and control the process. That’s how I ended up cooking meth. I didn’t want to wait for the dealer to bring me my stuff or end up getting crappy dope. I broke up the chemicals, ran the equations and never waited or got bad stuff again.
This was how I approached the steps.
Working the first step – powerlessness – was a no-brainer. I had just spent 15 months with someone telling me when it was time to eat, poop, and sleep.
The second step – came to believe that a power greater than me could restore me to sanity. If you reverse engineer that it means you’re insane. I thought, how am I insane? I spent the last 10 years running, lying, stealing. So to be returned to sanity I had to do the opposite. The opposite would be being honest, open-minded, and willing.
Here’s where we get to the higher power piece.
I had been unwilling to live with principles. So I came to believe if I lived by spiritual principles, then my life and the lives of the people around me would get better.
Then came step three – made a decision to turn your will and your life over to a God of your understanding. G.O.D for me would be, Good Orderly Direction. I made a decision to live by those principles.
Many people including myself were raised with ideas of what God is, all-powerful or all-knowing. Punishing if you do something wrong, you’ll burn in hell for the things you’ve done or that if you question God then you don’t really believe. The picture of some mature bearded man reaching down from the heavens none of these things ever gave me comfort or lead me in the right direction. It says came to believe in God of your understanding. I gave myself permission to create what I felt like I could connect to, hold and use as a tool.
To this day whatever the problem is, if I work harder, think of the greater good or try to help someone else the problem always gets better.