Because of flak I will receive I should point out that the VAST majority of Christians are not directly responsible for the pressure I mentioned above. This is a story about the impact of the pressure not a story about those that apply it.
It seemed like everyone in the room that night had some effusive boast about the “tools” they had gotten at a detox, or a sober living house, or some other credible establishment. I knew that I would be called out for not having gotten the right “tools”; perhaps that was Chris's purpose in confronting me. I wasn't surprised that my lack of fitting in would become unacceptable eventually. I had somehow hoped that it would have take longer for them to notice. I found Chris’s question especially disturbing because I had no idea when I’d last gotten high. No “tools”; no idea when I’d last gotten high…Chris was going to politely ask me to leave, and probably also ask me to pay for all the coffee I had drunk.
I somehow felt like I now had an official endorsement to sit in the circle. I abandoned my back of the room seat (I later learned that those seats near the door were called “death row”). I listened and heard people talking about sponsors and steps.
By this time I had moved into a group house and actually had a successful semester at school.
- A King James Bible (They give these things away)
- The Bhagavad-Gita (Free from the Hare Krishnas who also gave away free lunch at school)
- The Book of The Law (A book by Aleister Crowley I had lying around)
- Naked Lunch (I still cannot explain this one)
- Beelzebub’s tales to his grandson (which I had lying around)
- A translation of the Dhammapada
- A translation of the Sefir Yetzirah
Now that I was bathing more regularly some people asked me to go to church with them. When I refused I imagined them giving me reproachful looks.
Clarity and truth became actions that I could practice at.
Chris -who was (and probably still is) a practicing Christian- gave me one rule about choosing a 12 step god; that it couldn't be me. Despite how much I tried I could not find an imaginary friend who was not simply a part of me who I lied about being something else. It was the perspective that I needed; not the fantasy. I've found that god works best for me when it is not god at all.