When it comes to addiction, it is safe to assume that the road to sobriety can be tough and challenging. Not only is addiction an attack on the body and mind, but it is also an attack on the spirit.
When an individual is addicted to a substance, that substance suddenly takes over. There is no such thing as self when addiction exists. When someone is addicted, the self is totally consumed with gratifying the addiction.
This intense self-gratification is problematic, and the main reason addiction is such a complicated and difficult behavior to tackle.
For all addictions, especially substance-abuse, the addiction takes over the cognition of the individual. The mind and the body are physically broken as the addiction takes over.
When someone’s spirit is gone, their whole being diminishes as well. They become a shell of their former self. The spirit of the addicted person becomes compromised.
Alcoholics Anonymous As A Spiritual Safe place.
The reason Alcoholics Anonymous uses spirituality so heavily in their 12-step program is that addiction is a spiritual disease just as much as it is a physical and mental disease.
The spirit of an addicted person must be restored before any real healing can take place.
Alcoholics Anonymous works well for so many addicted individuals because their program tackles addiction in a way that puts the spiritual self in extremely high regard.
The Alcoholics Anonymous program is widely known around the world because it aims directly to the spirit of the addicted individual and forces it to open up and become part of the healing.
Sadly, the problem with spirituality and addiction is that many people don’t seem to realize just how heavy a role someone’s spirit plays in perpetuating their addiction.
When the spirit of someone is not strong, they are not able to fight the perils of addiction that plagues them. In many instances, the cause of addiction is a broken spirit.
This broken spirit can be caused by many different factors, such as a harsh childhood, traumatic experiences in adulthood, loss, disdain by others, and other negative influences.
One goal of addiction recovery programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous is to include restoration of an addicted individual’s spirit.
Restoration of spirit can be instrumental in helping to bring them out of their pain, misery, and sadness.
Spirituality Is Not Necessarily Religious
One big reason that many people don’t focus on the spiritual side of addiction is that they only see spiritual as being something that is religious and doesn’t understand that, spirituality is not dependent on religion and vice versa.
Yes, religion is spiritual, but just because someone does not follow or belong to a specific religion does not mean that they cannot be spiritual.
As mentioned before, spirituality has a lot to do with the inner self of someone and is the backbone of who they are as a whole and how they behave.
Strengthening the spirit is just the same as strengthening the backbone of a person as they work together in bringing about clarity, focus, and courage.
To strengthen the spirit, one needs to be in touch with their spiritual significance to the world. They need to cherish who they are as people and remember to practice accountability and gratitude for themselves and the world around them.
Only then will they be able to kick their addiction to the curb and start anew.
Spiritual Paths Dedicated To Addiction Recovery
Lately, a lot of people are jumping on the spirituality bandwagon when it comes to addiction recovery. This is great news for many different reasons, the main reason being that it works.
For an addicted individual to find the strength inside to kick their addiction to the curb, they must be able to get in touch with their spiritual significance to both themselves, as well as to the world around them.
To be fair, addiction is a disease that is not only negative, but also emotionally detached, and void of adequate self-confidence and self-esteem.
When an individual lacks self-confidence and self-esteem, they are not able to find the strength inside of themselves to fight off their addiction, no matter how much they seem to have working for them.
Furthermore, when someone is emotionally detached as well as negative in nature, the results are catastrophic. Perhaps this is what lead to the addiction.
The best part about spirituality, regarding addiction recovery, is that it restores optimism, positivity, and healthy self-esteem in an individual. It also serves to restore self-confidence and leads an addicted individual down the path of having real emotions that are full of honesty, truth, and joy.
The one word to define the role that spirituality plays in addiction recovery would be gratitude. Gratitude for one’s life is the cornerstone of addiction recovery, and can largely be found in many different types of spirituality.
Thankfully, there are a wide array of many new spiritual paths out there that addicted individuals can take to find the strength that they need within themselves to kick their addiction to the curb.
Some of these spiritual paths do have backbones in specific religions and historical belief systems, while others are simple spiritual for the sake of being spiritual, and seem to be more of a way of life.
The majority of “spiritual” paths geared towards addiction recovery offers something unique and different for the addicted individual in question and helps these people in so many ways.
These Spiritual ways are extremely effective, and they focus on helping addicted individuals achieve the results they need both quickly and painlessly
Buddhism In Addiction Recovery
Buddhism is just one example of an Eastern religion that is changing the face of addiction recovery.
In Buddhism, there is an emphasis on oneness and of course, spirituality. Many Buddhists practice the idea that there is no reason to get flustered or stressed out about events because all is centered within the individual.
This is a great lesson for addicted individuals to learn since it forces them to treat themselves with love, respect, and joy.
For someone to abuse an addiction, they simply don’t love themselves enough, and, they are not giving themselves the respect that they truly deserve.
No matter what happened to someone, where they came from, or where they currently are in their lives, no one exists to harm themselves. In Buddhism, there is an important idea that pertains to not harming any living thing, not even a bug.
This emphasis on no harm helps addicted individuals come to terms with the fact that yes, they are important, and no, they don’t deserve the abuse they are inflicting on themselves.
Another aspect of Buddhism that helps addicted individuals is the act of meditation.
Meditation is not only a good habit for addicted individuals but a good habit for anyone to practice as it restores the mind, body, and spirit, and helps people to get in touch with their connection to not only themselves but also, to the world around them.
Meditation is a big part of Buddhism, and once addicted individuals start meditating, they usually find kicking their addiction that much easier.
The main benefit of meditation is that it centers people in a way that is both healthy and positive. And, for an addicted individual, centering the self is of immense importance.
For many people, especially those who are addicted to a specific substance, their minds seem to race constantly.
Addicts may find it hard to control their thoughts, which often lead to their dependence on an addiction. Meditation changes all of that. It forces someone to come to terms with their racing mind, and introduce calm and reflection.
When meditation is introduced into an addicted individuals life, not only does the dependence on their addiction subside, but so does the anxiety, fear, and pain that they often experience.
Christianity In Addiction Recovery
With all that surrounds addiction and religion, there is no doubt that Christianity has helped many addicted individuals resolve their addiction.
Christianity has deep roots in the areas of spirituality.
Not only does Christianity teach love and kindness, but it also teaches sacrifice and withholding.
There is a belief in Christianity that has to do with following the words of Christ as well as following what is written inside of the bible.
Belief and practice of biblical teachings are beneficial regarding addiction recovery for many different reasons.
Many addicted individuals live in a constant state of dishonesty. They are not only dishonest with themselves, but also with the people around them. Christianity and biblical teachings help addicts deal with this dishonesty.
The Bible and the words of Christ force an addicted individual to take a clear and honest look at themselves and what they are doing. There is no hiding from the words written in the bible.
It seems that when an addicted individual starts to read the bible and follow the words of Christ, they are much more capable of taking a good look at themselves and their behaviors that may have led to their addiction.
This self-awareness is called introspection and is a truly groundbreaking experience for someone who is addicted.
When someone is addicted to a substance, and they reflect on their behavior, they usually come to terms with the reality of the pain that they have inflicted, and are continuing to inflict.
With introspection, they start to see their role in their addiction, and how their behaviors have led them to where they are today.
In Christianity, addicted individuals are not able to play the victim, since they are faced with the judgment of what they have done, and what they continue to do.
This helps many addicted individuals to wise up, change their behavior, and find the strength they need to deal with their addiction and recovery program.
The Key Is To Find Spirituality within Yourself
When someone thinks of an addicted person, they might think of someone that does not have their life together or someone whose life has gotten out of control.
The quick view is to see an addicted individual and think of someone who is selfish and doesn’t care about themselves, or the people in their lives. The truth is that addiction is all of these things and more.
There is no question that human beings are incredibly complicated and multifaceted. There is not one singular reason why someone becomes addicted, and why someone else does not become addicted.
Since people are so multifaceted and multi-layered, there are many reasons why addictions take place. Some people seem to become addicted to a substance and not be able to stop, while others seem never to become addicted to anything.
We are all walking contradictions. As human beings, it is our destiny and our duty to be the best that we can be at every given moment yet sometimes, we just don’t’ have the strength within ourselves to do that. We might have the best intentions at heart and still fall short.
There are some people who don’t have good intentions, and they are angry and hurt at the world around them, and disdainful at the cards that have been dealt in their lives.
To truly win over an addiction, one needs to have compassion for themselves, and learn to see addiction for what it truly is an attack on one’s self.
There is no love for addiction, which is why spirituality in addiction recovery is so powerful.
Spirituality restores the balance in an individual and forces them to take a clear and honest look into what they are doing when they participate in their addiction of choice.
Spirituality knows no bounds regarding how much someone cherishes and loves themselves, and that is why addiction is non-existent in those that are truly spiritual beings, and those that understand what spirituality is all about.
For someone to be spiritual and also addicted is hard, and most likely, impossible.
Someone can claim to understand spirituality, but a truly spiritual being would never harm themselves nor the ones that they love. And, this is the main reason why addiction recovery must include spirituality as a path out of addiction.
Spirituality is the path back to oneness, and the path back to love and appreciation within the self.
For addiction to occur, the spirituality in one’s self is greatly lacking.
The easiest way out of addiction is dedication and passion for truth and love, which is what spirituality is.
Need Help with understanding or accepting Spirituality in Addiction Recovery?
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Research on Spirituality and Recovery From Addiction by Dr. Bob Weathers
Summarizes two recent and authoritative research studies (Harvard and University of Michigan) which focus on the crucial contribution of spiritual resources in the process of recovery from addiction; for example, in the 12-Step programs.