For me, when I first got sober, it made me feel better, as they say. I particularly felt anxiety better – but also depression – and more resentment than I ever imagined I possessed. Everything was crashing down on me and I could hardly move my waxy limbs. I did keep the praying sincere and honest and would have small packets of sunshine as tender mercies from God from time to time. In the meantime, the 12 step group where there were guys with long term sobriety was in reality my higher power….it was the first time since high school I was being honest and open with a bunch of guys and I found that this provided “juice” to my soul….like I was a rusty machine and it provided lube and oil to make things move again. This higher power was particularly important because at that time, God was still like a cosmic servant to me – I knew He was there but I wasn’t in relation to Him as his Son. Rather he was more like a guy kinda responsible for both the good – and the mess and would he now please do what He needed to do to clean it up. PLEASE.
Eventually my prayers went more toward “what would you have me do.” and were less self-focused. I started to believe, very slowly and still today with some reluctance, that God in fact knows me personally. Now, more than ever, this belief is turning slowly into something very real and ongoing and mutually communicative. There is some depth and joy to having a real God who cares about me as my higher power – and the 12 step meetings are still important reminders and a kind of affirmation of the peace I feel.