1987, at a treatment centre for addiction:
“It shocked me to realise that here I was in a treatment centre, a supposedly safe environment, and I was in serious danger. I was absolutely terrified, in complete despair. At that moment, almost of their own accord, my legs gave way and I fell to my knees. In the privacy of my room I begged for help.
“I had no notion who I thought I was talking to, I just knew that I had come to the end of my tether. I had nothing left to fight with. Then I remembered what I had heard about surrender, something I thought I could never do – my pride just wouldn’t allow it – but I knew that on my own, I wasn’t going to make it, so I asked for help, and getting down on my knees, I surrendered.
“Within a few days I realised that something had happened for me. An atheist would probably say that it was just a change of attitude, and to a certain extent, that’s true, but there was much more to it than that. I had found a place to turn to, a place I’d always known was there but never really wanted, or needed, to believe in.
“From that day until this, I have never failed to pray in the morning, on my knees, asking for help, and at night, to express gratitude for my life and, most of all, for my sobriety. I choose to kneel because I feel I need to humble myself when I pray, and with my ego, this is the most I can do. If you are asking why I do all this, I will tell you . . . because it works, as simple as that.
“Before my recovery began, I found my God in music and the arts, with writers like Herman Hesse and Khalil Gibran, and musicians like Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and Little Walter. In some way, in some form, my God was always there, but now I have learned to talk to him.
“Music survives everything, and like God, it is always present. It needs no help, and suffers no hindrance. It has always found me, and with God’s blessing and permission, it always will.”
(Eric Clapton, The Autobiography)