I’ve been in the agnostic camp for a very long time. For those who don’t know, an agnostic is a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God. A very short time ago, I’d have added that out of the three camps- atheist, agnostic, and believer- the agnostic camp was the only intelligent one to be in.
“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist,” I’d have told you, “to know that nobody knows whether or not there is a God in the ‘intelligent creator’ sense.” If anyone had argued, I would have simply asked the atheist to prove that there is no God and the believer to prove that there is. My habit of responding with condescending antagonism towards any individual professing certainty about any metaphysical concept has been a tough habit to crack. But crack it I have. And now I am about to type something that I never expected to type. For me, at this point in my life, it is time to give God a chance.
For me, at this point in my life, it is time to give God a chance.
The Perspective From The Bottom
You always hear about people hitting “their rock bottom.” Well, I write this today from mine. And had I never reached this rock bottom, I doubt I would ever have entertained revisiting my unbending stance on agnosticism. The cold truth is that I need to be saved and I don’t appear to be strong enough to do it myself.
A lot is going on in my life right now. I am struggling mightily with bipolar disease, obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and depression. One result of these mental health concerns is that I possess a handful of serious and destructive addictions.
My addictions have included-
- Abuse of Prescription Medications
- Unjustified Lavish Spending (of family money)
Each of these addictions has baffled me and overborne my will on hundreds of occasions. I have even sat down and written out, by hand, lengthy promises to myself that I won’t do these things. Then I’ve done them the next morning. I have always had the same strategy for beating them- the use of willpower. That strategy has failed me almost every time.
Most frequently, I have tried multiple times to stop a behavior before giving up and continuing to do it. On a few occasions, I’ve temporarily stopped a behavior. However, from time to time that behavior reappears along with all its accompanying destruction. Sometimes I have just substituted one deadly and dangerous addiction with another. Along with the addictions has come constant, blatant lying right to the face of basically everyone I’ve ever known and loved. And that has always been followed, almost immediately, with shame, remorse, self-loathing, and suicidal thoughts.
For the most part, my life has been a turbulent roller coaster ride where the lows always seem both longer in duration and stronger in intensity than the highs. There has always been so much going on in my head that has gotten in the way of continuity or, more importantly, fulfillment.
My life has been a never-ending parade of doctors appointments. The single thing that I’ve spent the most time dealing with, over the course of my life, has been trying to get better. I couldn’t even tell you how many medications I’ve been on, side effects I’ve dealt with, or treatments I’ve considered.
I’m 32 years old. I don’t have a resume because I haven’t worked anywhere for more than a few months since high school. Despite seven years of continuing education, I’ve never made more than $10,000 in one year. My life has been literally wasting away before my very eyes.
Through a stroke of luck, I have finally been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I have also been put on new mood stabilizers and antidepressants. I’ve gotten a lot of psychotherapy lately during my time as an inpatient at MeadowWood and from my weekly psychiatrist appointments. Hopefully the new medications help normalize all of the turbulence going on inside my head. Hopefully, I’ll have real use of my mind for the first time in my life.
My addictions still run deep. Unfortunately, extremely strong addictions and very questionable impulse control are par for the course in patients with severe bipolar disease and severe obsessive-compulsive disorder. I know from personal experience that my willpower has no chance of conquering these addictions. For that reason, I am turning to Alcoholics Anonymous and the famous 12 Step program. While AA obviously deals with alcohol, I can substitute any addiction for the word alcohol and still use the program.
But there is no AA without the belief in at least some power greater than oneself. In other words, revisiting the concept of God comes along with the program. And so, from this place of absolute desperation, I turn my eyes to the sky.
And so, from this place of absolute desperation, I turn my eyes to the sky.
When Thou Can’t Trust In Thyself…
One day, I want to do things like get a job and have a family. Right now, those things are out of the question. Right now, I am physically incapable of making proper decisions. I don’t know how to not get wasted, how to not abuse prescription medications, or how to not buy pills on the street. I don’t know how to have $500 in my pocket and not immediately drive to the casino and quickly blow it all. I don’t know how to walk around with credit cards in my pocket and not repeatedly charge them to oblivion. I don’t know how to make the kind of simple life decisions that allow human beings to have things like jobs, families, or security. I am a shell of a human being.
Put another way, I was drowning. I was on the brink of suicide, but I was thrown an inner-tube. My inner-tube was my diagnosis with bipolar disease and the medications that came along with that diagnosis. I grabbed it, but now I have to swim to shore. And there are a lot of obstacles between me and the beach. My addictions are like a bunch of sharks staring at me. They are gnashing their teeth and saying, “We’re still here-e-e-e!”
My addictions are like a bunch of sharks staring at me. They are gnashing their teeth and saying, “We’re still here-e-e-e!”
I hope that the AA Fellowship helps me. I hope that the idea of 90 meetings in 90 days helps me grab control over all of my addictions. I hope that with my mind a little quieter, a little more subdued, and a little more stable, I’ll be able to work the program.
I’ve been an agnostic for a long time. On the other hand, I’ve been a lot of things for a long time, and not many of them are good. There comes a point where you have to ask yourself why you expect to try and succeed when you’ve tried the same thing a hundred times before and failed. Luckily, I’ve at least cleared away enough fog to see that my life, as it was before, was miserable, undisciplined, and dishonest. All of my agnosticism and philosophy never helped me conquer a single addiction.
I think it may be time to give God a chance.
I have a lot on my “plate” these days. I’ve finally finished changing and rereleasing my website. Honestly, that alone feels like a tremendous accomplishment. Unfortunately, it has absolutely no content because I haven’t written any blog articles yet this year.
However, that will change soon. When it does, this will be the place to read all my blog articles. Until then, I hope each of you is having a great 2015!