Doug’s Perspective: Worthiness, Giving, and Receiving Help

By: Douglas, Renascent Alumni

I had a lot of difficulty coming to believe I was worthy of sobriety. I could believe the 12-step program could work for others but not for me.

Through working The Steps with another person who works The Steps I became Humble enough to know my worthiness. I thank God for the desperation I had to seek help and the awareness of the help I can give. Experience has shown my worthiness.

Growing up I always had the nagging thought and feeling of never being good enough, of being different. Unknowingly I had the need to get affirmation from others of my value as a human being. My Ego convinced me if others failed to tell me my worthiness, I was not worthy. This of course was validation of my nagging thoughts of being less then.

I did not realize I was seeking help from others to give me worth. I did not understand this defect of character or that I was living through it. I had the need
to prove myself as better than and the last thing I needed was help! I was blind to the fact that I was depending upon help. In fact, I believed to be helped was a weakness. To need help was a failure. To prove my worth I was a “know it all” who always had something to tell you. I believed I was self-sufficient.

God lead me to the program of recovery and by working the 12-steps with help, I was taught what my true malady was and how to be free from it. Self-sufficiency was my downfall. I experienced how to seek the help I needed to feel worthy with nothing to prove. I discovered my worthiness of sobriety.

Using allowed me to believe I need not have to trust or rely on anyone, only myself. The effect I loved was this effect it gave me. That I was capable of doing anything I wanted. It gave me the illusion of strength and real freedom. I discovered the solution I needed to feel worthy, useful and free! I became absolutely self-sufficient! My worth was acquired!

This of course ended when my trusted servant betrayed me. At some point I found myself incapable of helping myself. I found myself no longer being self-sufficient with simple basic needs. The effect of using no longer did its job. I could no longer trust myself. Alcohol and drugs simply verified my weakness, unworthiness and uselessness. I was hopeless and beyond help.

I felt unworthy of, and incapable of being helped from a Higher Power let alone another alcoholic/addict. I thought all I had to do was “get my act together!” I just needed to take control of my use and all will be well. This of course led me to much misery I could have avoided. I did not understand this was just another vain attempt to prove my self-sufficiency.

Only by the grace of God did I gain the fervour of a drowning person reaching for a life preserver lest I die. I finally saw no other option but to seek and receive the help I was denying myself. My awakening was that I have received the help I require and with that I can pay forward help to others with the same malady. Help worked despite my beliefs!

With the help of others I came to believe that I do make a difference. It was by letting go of self-sufficiency that I gained sufficiency to self and others. I came to believe my worthiness.

My Humble Acceptance of being worthy and needed is a keystone of my sobriety. In conclusion, to be helped is helping and to help is worthwhile. I am worthy of living a good sober life with help. I thank God and others for the persistence of teaching me this helpful worthy lesson.

I would like to end with this;
“To awaken to the awareness of being helped is to enter the path of humility and gratitude. The responsibility to give lovingkindness to ourselves and others has been
shifted from our individual self to a whole collection of beings helping each other. This !whole collection of beings”, all our ancestors, teachers, and friends, whose deepest wish is to help our spiritual liberation. This awakening occurs when we come out of our ego prison of self-concern and participate in the community of mutual assistance. When we use help from and to others. The practical expression of the wisdom of oneness. We are each a valued part of the whole. We abandon the narcissistic project of self improvement and awaken to !the practice of love within the context of community.”

About the Authors

Members of Renascent's alumni community carry the message by sharing their experiences and perspectives on addiction and recovery. To contribute your alumni perspective, please email