Spirituality is possibly the cornerstone of recovery from addiction. The personal examination of self to realize how addiction has effected you life is part of the time of action. When you come to realize your need for strength beyond yourself is however another.
Spirituality and the stigma of addiction
When you think of spirituality you may envision a formal church or at the minimum an organization of people associated one with another. Much of what is associated as spiritual has to do with morality and moral judgment. Especially as it relates to making poor judgments that rule to quite eventful consequences.
It’s the essence of this moralizing that brings about the stigma associated with addiction. This may be in part due to how impaired individuals are when they are intoxicated or high.
Addiction often leads to poor and often consequential decisions. These may rule to the breakdown of relationships, chief values of the individual and/or society in addition as spirituality.
It wasn’t until the middle of the twentieth century addiction professionals began recognizing addiction as an illness. This changed to a large degree how professionals look at addiction.
Rarely does illness get interpreted as a spiritual fault or something condemned by society. There’s nevertheless a tremendous amount of stigma involved with addiction but there’s hope for change as society begins to understand the true character of addiction.
Addiction and spirituality
With addiction there’s a sense of helplessness associated with the idea of not using again. Much of the behavior surrounding an addiction is consumed with procuring alcohol or drugs, making time to use and ancillary behaviors to sustain these efforts.
When the crash comes after the high it’s shared for a prayer to go up something like this, “Lord, help me to never do this again”. The guilt and remorse of use reflects the broken promises, compromised values and hopelessness that already God doesn’t listen to the addict, or so it seems.
Desperation and helplessness is shared with those addicted to alcohol or drugs. It becomes very personal and meaningful spiritual challenge.
Recovery and spirituality
sustain groups like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous have as their very first step reference to powerless over alcohol or drugs and the second part of it is turning our will over to God as we know Him.
This step doesn’t suggest recovering addicts are considerably spiritual but it does indicate they are of necessity spiritual. They must look outside themselves to their Higher strength to find the strength to stay clean and sober.
Skeptics criticize 12 step programs as at times being too ‘religious’. These groups are not religious they have no affiliation with any given religion. The meaningful issue here is that each of us are spiritual beings and alcohol and/or drugs has become unmanageable. It’s out of this hopelessness the addicted individual is able to reconnect with their spirituality and find God who is the greatest sustain for addiction recovery.
Recovery from addiction and spirituality go hand in hand. There’s a thorough within us a need to be spiritual. Addicts already when they believe they can quit on their own know it’s really bigger than they think. That’s where spirituality comes in to sustain recovery.