Addiction: A Spiritual Disease
Addiction is more than just a physical or psychological disease – it’s a spiritual disease that robs its victims of a part of themselves that’s not wholly tangible. Many people seek out drugs and alcohol to fill a void they feel in themselves or in their lives, only to discover that the more they drink or use drugs, the larger the void is and the more they want to abuse those substances. Without help, they find themselves lost, sick, and unable to stop the cycle of their addiction, no matter how much they want to.
Turning to Alcohol and Drugs
No one becomes an addict on purpose, and no one wakes up in the morning one day and says, “I feel a spiritual hole in my life. I think I’ll pour whiskey into it and see what happens.” However, when other trials occur in your life, like the loss of a loved one, physical trauma, losing your job, etc., how do you respond? Do you automatically say, “I need a drink?” This is where it starts for a lot of people. They begin by self-medicating with alcohol and drugs when they don’t know how to deal with physical or emotional pain, and this leads to addiction and a growing spiritual hole in their lives.
Addiction Leads to Hopelessness and Despair
If you are physically and/or psychologically addicted to a substance, you will find yourself choosing it over friends, family, and responsibilities. Even when the consequences are dire, like losing your job, your home, or your spouse, you’ll go back to the bottle or back to the needle. This feeling that you can’t control yourself and your actions will lead to a sense of helplessness, hopelessness, and despair.
Getting Help Without Judgment
Sometimes the only help is a spiritual connection and care and assistance from experienced professionals who know what you’re going through and won’t lay judgment on you for it. When staying in a rehab facility feels like gentle, warm treatment instead of a prison sentence, you’ll start to feel more of that connection with yourself, others in your program, and the people helping you.
Entire Rehab Programs are Based on the Spirituality of Addiction
Some people argue that Alcoholics Anonymous’ spiritual approach to addiction recovery takes the responsibility off of the person and places it on some nebulous God or “higher power”. However, you can’t argue with the results that this program has had for many people. Over the years, AA has helped countless people fill the spiritual void in their lives and themselves by focusing on a higher power and taking away the guilt and moral judgment they felt when they were drinking or using other substances.
Whether you believe in a higher power or not, if addiction has robbed you of some part of your human spirit, you can get help with addiction and return to feeling like a whole and healthy human being. You can have normal, fulfilling relationships again, and you can enjoy all of that without pouring drugs and alcohol into the hole you feel in yourself. Instead, you’ll fill it with work, healthy activities, and positive relationships.
Tags: Mental Health
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