“The game of life is not so much in holding a good hand as playing a poor hand well.” –H. T. Leslie
When I think about that quote, I don’t think I have a “bad hand” necessarily, but I was dealt a set of cards in life that presents challenges. With the help of someone I trusted who saw my life clearly from the outside, I came to the realization three years ago that if I didn’t make some serious changes, a lot of the negative behaviors and characteristics in my life were going to continue to go downhill. In the months preceding this realization, things had begun to decline more rapidly; so when I was confronted with this truth, I quickly accepted it, even if I accepted it it with some anger and resentment towards God.
I felt angry because…GOD was the one responsible for the set of cards I was dealt….right? And now I had to ask Him to help me with all of this? I thought, “You gave me all this junk, and now you want me to ask you for help with it??” Frustrating. And ridiculous. That’s what I thought about all that. After repeating the same discussion several times about the fact that turning my life over to God was the first step to making changes that I wanted, my mentor finally told me, “Alison, you don’t have to feel good about this. You can just do it and move forward, and that will be enough.”
So, that’s what I did. I let God know that I was offering myself to Him, admitted that I was pretty angry about it, and then I just kept moving forward with the work. All I had to do was to stay honest and keep talking to God. He was gracious, and gently guided me through the process of change even though I was a jerk about it pretty much the whole way through.
I no longer feel angry. It has actually been a long time since I have felt anger about the fact that I am an addict. I am not always happy about it, but most times I am able to feel some gratitude. I accept it, and I see that without the process I had to go through to get sober, I would be stuck in the same rut that I had been stuck in for years.
The process of recovery and of giving things up to God has made my life simple. Someone once explained to me that I could now go on vacation while I sit back and let my Higher Power do all the work. If I am unhappy or want change in my life, I simply have to focus on it and remain open-minded to what the change looks like. Today, I am aware that most of my “prayers” are answered in unexpected packages.
I feel that I play my hand well (with my Higher Power’s help) and I am really grateful to feel.