Last Friday wasn’t a good day for me. So I did something that I haven’t done in 13 years. I knelt down and prayed.

Of course, I don’t believe in God so I have no idea who or what I was praying to, but that kind of wasn’t the point.

I just needed to do something different so something different can happen. I needed to admit that I can’t do this alone. I needed to say out loud that I’m lost. I needed to get humble. Kneeling down in the shower and clasping my hands made me feel pretty humble.

I’ve been in (and out and in and out) of OA long enough to know what to pray for: strength to face my problems. Peace to calm the anxiety. Openness to see what messages the universe is sending me. Vision to see myself the way someone who loves me sees me. (That’s supposed to be God, but I’m not there yet.)

See, I realized that I don’t love myself. I like myself, but I don’t love myself. It’s too hard when all I see are my faults…

My mistakes…

My lack of discipline…

My thighs…

My chins…

My short temper…

My inability to forgive me…

I could keep going. But I won’t… because I’m trying to see myself differently today: imperfect but trying.

Imperfect but trying.

I look at the people I love and they are all imperfect. They all try. I love them for trying. I respect them for trying. I forgive them their transgressions because they are trying. Why can I not do this for myself? This is my goal. For today.

Have I been trying? I ask myself. I think, the answer is no. I have been allowing myself to be tossed around on a sea of despair and a belief that whatever I do will fail no matter how hard I try. In fact, as I write this I’m realizing I believed I would fail harder the harder I tried. Why bother, why not just give in to the hopelessness? Why not stop trying so as not to disappoint myself further? Succumb to the reality that I am insufficient?

That’s where I was.

I don’t like it there.

I like, imperfect but trying better.

It’s sunnier here.

Here there is hope.

What will I try, this time around? How about letting go more, forgiving more, trying less hard to win and harder to just accept me.

How is it that I find myself imperfect but trying today?

Was it prayer?

Or was it writing these messages that I send out into the dark abyss of the internet that are really for myself?

Am I getting my own messages?

Will I pray again? I should. I know this. It grounds my brain in reality. It gives me focus. It reminds me that nothing can swoop in and solve things for me. It reminds me to be gentle with myself. It reminds me that humility is not the same as humiliation and I need to hold on to the former and I need to expel the latter.

Is there a God listening and granting those prayers for strength, and peace, and openness, and vision? I don’t know. I don’t believe anyone does.

Can it help me? Yes. Perhaps. Just for today.