Step Two for me has been like the bigger-and-bigger hammer theory exemplified in the old Bugs Bunny cartoons. Bugs hits Daffy Duck over the head with a hammer, only the hammer is the size of a gavel, insufficient to get Daffy’s attention. By the time all is said and done, Bugs is whamming Daffy with a mallet the size of a family car. In an exaggerated and humorous way, this cartoon reminds me of how my Higher Power lovingly tried to reach me my whole life. Even though I grew up in a very religious family, my ego thrived as my personal god well into my adulthood. Consequently I did not have a real relationship with God. Instead, my attention was focused on controlling my own life and manipulating other peoples’ lives. The little gavels of life didn’t work on me. It took a huge “hammer” to get through to me — the crisis of sexaholism in my home — before I could understand the need for a Higher Power in my life.
My husband told me about his disease — a disclosure based on fear of arrest. During the next six weeks I exhausted myself in an insane effort to single-handedly manage the situation. Questions raced through my brain: Who would be the best therapist for him? Which lawyer would be most effective? Who could we call at the newspapers if any of this threatened to come out? I felt as if I was running faster and faster on a hamster wheel and life was just a blur. It was at this, my lowest point, that my Higher Power seemed to step in and say what I could not: “Enough!” My denial was stripped away by blunt revelations in a joint therapy session. I was overwhelmed by the enormity of sexaholism, and I finally realized my powerlessness. It became clear that the consequences of my husband’s sexaholic actions were not for me to control. It had been insane for me to think I could. For the first time, I became aware in a real way that my Higher Power would take charge of the situation, if only I was willing to believe.
When I faced this crisis — perhaps the deepest crisis of my life — and reached a rock-bottom emptiness, I finally was able to feel and accept my Higher Power’s presence in my life. The crisis caused my youthful understanding of God to begin to give way to a deeper, personal, spiritual experience and understanding. I am grateful that my early religious training laid a foundation for me by giving me a concept of a Higher Power. I’m even more grateful that in this program I have come to know a God who really cares for me, who has a better plan for my life than the one I have in mind.
Reprinted from S-Anon Twelve Steps, pages 21-22.