RE: My play. What’s the incident where I had to make a 180 degree turn? Wen I embraced 12-step work in May of 2011. I turned from living life on my own will to turning my life over to God. I believed in God prior to this, but He wasn’t real in my life most of the time. I thought he was the ultimate judge, but I thought by following the Torah, I could create a good life. I didn’t realize that my will to follow Torah was corrupt. That my execution of Torah was corrupt. That my dreams were corrupt and my passions were corrupt.
I was religious prior to 12-step, but I hadn’t turned my life and my will over to God. I hadn’t turned myself over to God. I didn’t think of myself as an addict. I felt completely in control and believed that if I simply applied myself, I could succeed.
When I embraced 12-step, I had to accept that I was helpless in front of my emotional addictions, that there was a power greater than myself that could restore me to sanity, and I made a conscious decision to turn my life and my fears and my resentments and my will over to God.
Working step four, I realized that addicts like me use everyone and everything in their life to meet their addictive needs. Therefore, I needed to make a complete and fearless moral inventory, listing out everyone and everything I resented, writing out where they threatened me (prestige, income, love life, etc), and what part I had played in these dustups.
I wasn’t afraid as I worked these steps. I was in a 12-step program that let you set your own bottom lines (of behaviors you wanted to avoid). Nobody was going to tell me what to do.
This is not a play. This is just true, true to the best of my ability to remember, true according to all sources of information I’ve gathered. This isn’t stylized or dramatic. It’s not clever. I’ve seen one-man plays. This ain’t one.
Through 12-step work, I’ve returned to many of the themes from my Seventh-Day Adventist childhood. Dad would say that our will was corrupt. You can’t live for yourself. You have to turn your life over to God. The meaning of life is in service. You can’t live in resentment. You have to forgive. I hated that. I wanted to live my own life, figure out right and wrong, convert to another religion, sleep with many women, write about what I fancied, and it left me lonely, frightened, isolated, an embarrassment to my family and friends, unrecognizable to people I grew up with. I was a rebel without a shul. So I turned 40, had the great love affair of my life, and then came the void.