I Miss God.

iStock_000005641615XSmallSounds like a weird thing to say, I know. Logically, I know He’s right there. Right here. But I miss Him.  I miss the intimacy we used to have. Part of me thinks I’ll never have that intimacy with Him again, that it was just a honeymoon phase, pink cloud, idealistic thing of my youth. But another part of me knows that isn’t true–I guess that’s the glimmer of hope in me that still shines even if dimly.

I “know” He’s there, here. I know this, the way I know this computer is here.  I don’t question it. I know He is performing miracles, showering us all with His grace, loving us unconditionally beyond our understanding.  I know He’s provided me all the tools in the world to find Him, reach Him, connect with Him–Mass, the Sacraments, the Saints, the Rosary, Scripture, His Son, His Mother. These “tools” have brought me closer to Him in the past and I know they will again-hopefully. I miss the closeness, the idealistic way we used to have a relationship – the way that gave me all the confidence in the world that He would protect me, nurture me, love me. I miss this.

Don’t laugh but I used to be idealistic about politics too, until last year’s general election here in the US. After that election I lost my idealistic view of believing in people in general, in politics specifically.  It’s sort of like this.  The let down was so greatly felt for me that I stopped paying attention, caring, hoping, doing the things I normally would do to try to participate and cooperate with my political beliefs.

When I relapsed last spring, God was still there. But when I got the DUI in June I lost Him. It’s like I felt those consequences – of my own actions, certainly – so greatly that I stopped paying attention to God, stopped caring, hoping, doing the things I normally would do to try to participate and cooperate with God’s grace. 

When the lawyer in September called and told me I had to go to either jail or treatment for 30 days as part of my sentence, I was overwhelmed. I had recently launched my business and I would have to leave that and my family for a month. These consequences felt too great for me. Without health insurance, I worried I wouldn’t be able to find a treatment center I could afford and would have to go to jail. I remembered the 2 days I spent in jail in June and this really scared me. We finally did find a treatment center in South Georgia that was fairly inexpensive and my brothers helped me pay for it so I wouldn’t have to go to jail.

I had a little hope that I might find God again while I was in treatment– I know the drill. Treatment is usually a spiritual thing. And the treatment center we found appeared to be run by devoutly  Catholic people. The pictures on the walls were all Catholic. There was a big stained glass window at the front of the house of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Rosaries everywhere! Mary statues and crucifixes and a small chapel with a kneeler. So, even though I was beaten down about having to go, I did have a little bit of hope that me and God would reconnect and make up. My sister was even jealous, assuming I’d have a month to pray and be with God – ha!

Well, things didn’t work out the way I’d hoped. For the first time in my life, I met people who went to Mass every Sunday, gave out communion, seemed to be very Catholic on the outside; but they were anything but in real life. The owner and the main counselor were both Catholic. But they lied, manipulated, gossiped, were rude, sarcastic, petty and narcissitic. There were nine of us women in treatment and we were purposely turned against one another, diminished, brought down, shamed and neglected. During “group,” the counselors would bring out the worst of us, things discussed in private counseling sessions, in front of the whole group and success was found in breaking us down, making us cry.

I reason since it was a long term treatment center for hard core drug addicts that maybe they had to do this, break the women down to get to their/our core or something. But I left there, much more broken and jaded than when I arrived.  I was encouraged to talk things through with the other women and with the counselors. I was chastised for stealing quiet time alone to try to be with God – I was told I was isolating. I was unable to connect with God there as I connect with God in private, not in group.

I did leave at the end of the 30 days with a compassionate love for the other eight women and their struggles. I keep up with them on Facebook and have learned that four of the eight left shortly after I did. This surprised me because they were all in for long-term treatment. One was kicked out. And the other three left, saying the owner is “crazy.”  One is actually filing a Hippa complaint against the facility, which I’m not really sure what that is?

Anyways, I “know” God is there, right here.  I just can’t seem to connect.  If you’re reading this, please understand I’m not looking for advice at all. In AA meetings, we would call advice-giving “cross-talk.” And the reason it’s discouraged in AA meetings is because most people don’t want advice, they just want to speak. In meetings we share our own experience, strength and hope and refrain from giving each other advice on how to live or fix our problems.  I guess I say this because I know I have a lot of caring, compassionate readers out there and I just ask for your prayers, that’s all.  I’m really fine. Just a little jaded. I just wanted to get it out here on the blog – maybe somebody else has felt this way, too.

I read this poem in my Magnificat subscription this morning which is probably all I need: Humility

“Humility”

Humility is to be still
under the weathers of God’s will.
It is to have no hurt surprise
when morning’s ruddy promise dies,
when wind and drought destroy, or sweet
spring rains apostatize in sleet,
or when the mind and month remark
a superfluity of dark.
It is to have no troubled care
for human weathers anywhere.
And yet it is to take the good
with the warm hands of gratitude.
Humility is to have place
deep in the secret of God’s face
where one can know, past all surmise,
that God’s great will alone  is wise,
where one is loved, where one can trust
a strength not circumscribed by dust.
It is to have a place to hide
when all is hurricane outside

poem by JESSICA POWERS – Jessica Powers (+1988) was a Carmelite nun, sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit.

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29 thoughts on “I Miss God.

  1. Dear friend, you touch my heart. Six months ago today my sister was found dead in her bedroom. She battled this disease the past 7 years. She was in and out of rehab when she wasn’t home with her abusive husband. I found your website just prior to the relapse you mentioned. I am praying for you. I just read that poem in my Magnificat too! Thanks for sharing your story. I am also wondering if you know about Graceway in Georgia? Peace be with your spirit, Beth Sent from my iPhone

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    • I am so sorry about your sister. Six months today wow. Alcoholism is so awful and as they day in AA meetings “cunning, baffling, powerful. ”
      The place you mentioned…That’s where I went. :(
      I’m sure they help many many women so I didn’t want to mention them by name. I’m sure my experience is an isolated one and it’s probably a really good place. Thanks Beth.

  2. I am so sorry to hear about the experience you describe at the treatment facility in this posting. Can I recommend a great book that might be worthwhile for you? I read about this book in a New York Times article. The author is Anne Fletcher and the book is titled “Inside Rehab – The Surprising Truth About Addiction Treatment – And How to Get Help That Works”. It was published in 2013 and is full of very good information and resources to go to as well as a comprehensive overview of the latest research being done on substance abuse treatment. Especially helpful is the last chapter “Getting What You Need”. Do not be discouraged – there is a way for you to create a treatment plan that is the right one for you and God is working to make sure you find it and find your way back to Him.
    Merry Christmas!
    FMD

    • I heard about this book earlier this year! I will buy it today! I have all the tools in the world but just can’t seem to create a plan for myself as you say. Big day at work today but I can’t wait to settle into this book tonight. Thank you FMD

  3. Oh Regina, I’m sorry you have been going through this. I am sorry I have pulled a disappearing act from the recovery blog scene. I have been selfish and self-centered. You have blessed me with your blog today because doubts have been plaguing me about my sobriety, whether it is worth all of the sacrifices. You taught me once again, that it is. That there is no going back to being a moderate drinker, especially since I never was one. I lost one of my friends a week ago. She had been told to never drink again, and she didn’t, for 8 years. Then she did and they found her dead in her bed, she had bled out from a ruptured esophageal varice. This disease wants to kill us.

    I feel far from God also lately, even though I know he is right here.
    He’s the one who inspired you to write this blog, he’s the one that made me click on it after so many months away.
    He’s here.

    • You helped me so much thank you! This really does want to Kill us. Ugh so sorry about your friend ! That’s the thing she did good for 8 years and it still got her. So annoying and frustrating. So glad you wrote.

  4. I am hoping to help my sister who is struggling with her drinking issues and I found this book to be invaluable. Our family tried to convince her to go to an inpatient rehab facility this past October and she refused. After reading “Inside Rehab” , I am grateful she didn’t go because I think there is another better path she can take to put together a treatment plan that is tailored specifically for her. From what I have learned, each person struggling with a substance abuse problem is different and a “one size fits all” treatment approach does not help each patient understand and address constructively the underlying issues that are the cause of the substance abuse problem. There is power in knowledge and awareness and the latest scientific research regarding best treatment practices recommended by experts in the field has yet to take hold in the drug and alcohol rehab industry in America. I hope you find this book to be as helpful as I did! I am praying for you and my sister.
    FMD

    • Thank you FMD! It’s those “Underlying issues” I just wish I could ignore and get on with things. I don’t like counseling and all that. I wish I could get chemo or medicine or something and have the doctors fix me ha. Spoken like a true alcoholic!

  5. This is a tough season for us alcoholics. Terrible childhood memories for some, feelings of guilt, difficulty facing family members especially those who still drink or drug, fight, arguments, and questions about the nature of God or our relationship with him (or her).
    It is time to go back to the basics during the season; I would call my sponsor often, I remember to HALT (Hungry,Angry, Lonely, Tired; I might add, during HALT is no time for me to have involved intellectual theological debates). Go to meeting more often. Reach out and help others even if it’s talking in meetings. And before I travel, find the AA meeting in the town where the business meeting is or where my crazy family lives, and I excuse myself and visit any meeting as visitor for an hour or so.
    God bless sweetheart.

    • Perfect! Ha ha ha about theological debates it seems they (cerebral overthinking)are more a way for me to procrastinate doing what needs to be done , which is as you say stick to the basics go to meetings call my sponsor and HALT. Thank you. And I do have a crazy family but my mom reads this blog and she still thinks we are all perfect right Mom?

  6. Friend: I agree with everything Mark said. I would only add this one reflection I read this morning during this advent season: “Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart. And try to love the questions themselves.” – Rainer Maria Rilke.

    • the questions themselves, yes! sometimes I wish I had a logical mind so I wouldn’t focus so much on the questions! ha. Mark’s post was spot on, you’re right.

  7. I’m feeling very much like you do today. For some of the same reasons, but some different ones, too. In this season of Advent, I pray for us both to prepare our hearts for our Lord and Savior. What does “prepare” mean, exactly? For me, and I think for you, it can simply mean to open our hearts wide to his love. We must trust in Him to do the rest. God bless you.

    • yes, and when i’m like this it helps to go to my Catholic “rote” (but not “rote” truly) prayers…the one for advent is the Hail and Blesseds: Hail and Blessed be the hour and the moment that the son of God was born of the most pure virgin Mary at midnight in Bethlehem in piercing cold, in that hour, vouchsafe (what does vouchsafe me? ha!) oh my God to hear my prayer and grant my request through the merits of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. and I can’t remember the rest right now.

  8. Wow, Connected Catholics! Just three hours before I read this posting of yours, my girlfriend read me the same poem from her daily Magnificat. I commented on how it would fit with one of my articles-in-process.
    Regarding the “Hippa,” one of the regulations is the “HIPAA Privacy Rule, which protects the privacy of individually identifiable health information.” For a number of years, companies and individuals have been held accountable to tighter controls on what sort of personal health information is revealed and to whom. — Tony

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