Like a newborn latching onto her mother’s nipple, contentment forms my psyche. Again, I’ve found the Source. I’ve only to milk Step III’s directive: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him. The decision gives me pause, even today.

Only when seated around the tables of AA did I discover my self-absorption and self-centeredness related to decades of living with chronic pain and illness. In no way could my will have developed: it resembled Swiss cheese. Bereft of energy, I allowed others to make decisions for me, then adjusted to the outcomes. Ill-fitting ones stressed my symptoms even more. With minimal understanding of Steps I and II, I began the arduous task of choice-making until finally grasping the import of Step III. I was becoming my own person.

But my terminal illness has sharpened the focus: Existentially, I am letting go of the only life that I’ve ever known, surrendering it within God’s care. This is also true of my choices.

Such living mandates full consciousness of my Caregiver, since the moment of death only occurs in the present, not the past or future, per Dr. Singh. My dawn practice of meditation, with deep breathing, opens onto an emerging sense of self—something to do with my eternal destiny.

Yet, shadow stuff from my unconscious intrudes into my awareness, stirring up angst, doubt, shallow breathing, plummeting me within the unmanageability of Step I. Once again, I return to the Source and suckle. Nourishment is always there.