It is axiomatic that, if an alcoholic is someone who, left to their own devices, is powerless over alcohol, anyone who can stay continuously sober over a considerable period of time without a power greater than themselves is not alcoholic in this sense ... they have power.
Words are symbols of symbols, twice removed from reality. I am an alcoholic. This means I have no power, left to my own devices. I have been sober since 1993. The neat bit of this syllogism is that a power greater than me ~must~ have been keeping me sober. That is the ~reality~. That is ~power~.
The ~idea~ representing the reality is entirely up to me. The ~word~ used to represent the idea is entirely up to me. Hence: words are symbols of symbols, twice removed from reality.
If 'God' is the codeword, i.e. the cipher for the idea, and the idea, the conception of the power, is down to each individual, there is nothing to argue about.
When, earlier in my recovery, I was indeed atheist or agnostic, it did not mean that a power greater than myself was not keeping me sober. It meant I couldn't see it. Again: we're back to the axiomatic point from the top.
When I say God, people attach to that conceptions of God that they have had imprinted since childhood, and believe I believe that ~that~ conception is keeping me sober. Nothing could be further from the truth.
This is why it is so important to remember that words are symbols of symbols, twice removed from reality. The power is exists. The power is real. If it didn't, I would be drunk.
My brother died of alcoholism in his twenties.
I believe that God's grace falls equally on everyone. The power is available. But a space is needed for that power to rush in. The power did not rush into my life until I was defeated.
There is, as it were, an enclosed space in the control room of my life. Its basic condition is to be filled with ego. To the extent that ego exits or is booted out, to that precise extent can God rush in.
My ego was first truly defeated in 1993, and the power rushed in. My actions since then have not kept me sober. My actions since then have kept my ego sufficiently at bay for sufficient power to remain in my life to keep me sober. There is a big difference!
I must never become like the ant on the log going down the river, saying to his friend, "look at how well I'm steering this!"