Introducing Pet Diaries: Life
lessons we learned from our pets. This five-part series explores
the ways pets have a positive impact on our lives. It's brought to
you in partnership with GOOD.is. Check out more stories at GOOD Pets.
I've always had a difficult time believing in God. At the age of
12, I suggested to the Episcopal confirmation teacher Mrs. Alspach
that maybe I shouldn't be confirmed because "I don't believe in any
of this stuff." Her response? "(Sigh) Just do it." I was a
pretty depressive kid and spent lots of time alone and often called
on God to help me. As far as I could tell, there was no answer from
this God. Whether there is or there isn't One, I turned to several
addictions for comfort.
As most People magazine covers will tell you,
turning to substances, whatever they are-food, sex, gambling,
drugs, alcohol-isn't usually sustainable in the long term. So when
I turned 20, I called a suicide hotline which gave me a number for
a 12-step group and I started the recovery process.
If you're not familiar with 12-step programs, one of the main
concepts is that it is vital to have a Higher Power in order put
down the "fill-in-the-blank-bad-thing." Your Higher Power can
be God, Allah, Buddha, Krishna, Nature, or Whatever Works. I
know someone who uses Harry Potter. For many years, I chose
the group as my Higher Power because they were a group of people
who were able to stop their addiction and were therefore more
powerful than me, because I was not able to stop. And
miraculously, whether it was the elephant-headed God of Good
Fortune Ganesh or just Cognitive Behavioral therapy, it worked. I
was able to let go of behaviors and substances I had been a slave
to for most of my life.
For years, it worked to just ask myself what the group would do
or call someone in the group if I had a question about what to do
in a situation, but I still felt this aloneness in the world, this
Ten years into "recovery," it was a suggestion from one of my
many sponsors to get a dog. And that is how I met my Higher
To read the rest of Maria and Blossom's story, please visit GOOD.is/Pets.