Addiction Recovery & Spirituality: Put Your Work Boots On and Get to Work
Life truly can be hell when you’re feeling hopeless and powerless.
It’s no surprise that those struggling in addiction or alcoholism journey along this lonesome path, oftentimes ending up hitting a rock bottom that depletes them entirely. I can say for myself, my stint navigating full-fledged codependency and/or love addiction caused me to become extremely depressed, lonely, and hopeless.
Recovery from addiction – whether it’s substances, food, gambling, sex, love – requires one to find out just what will restore that sense of empowerment and hope. For me, putting my faith into something BIGGER, helped me get out of the way and be led by a Power greater than myself. A Power that could help me STOP engaging in addictive behavior, begin to heal, and feel empowered.
“I’m powerless and it sucks”
This was my thought when I realized I was powerless. At the same time, I also felt relieved, because I was powerless to change my situation on my own. I mean, if I could have, I would have years before. I knew that I wasn’t powerless as a person, but this addiction (codependency) was like a blanket that covered up my inherent power.
I was walking around disempowered, giving my power away to others. As much as my ego did not like hearing about my powerlessness, I decided to surrender and embrace a path toward spirituality. A path that would lead me inside. A path that would require me to put on my work boots and start digging… in order to get the nitty gritty of my soul.
I work an online forum for addiction. I read stories daily of those who are a hot mess. Addiction has turned their lives upside down and they’re seeking solutions. They want help, but they’ve been walking down this path of addiction for so long, they’ve lost their connection with their very own souls…and oftentimes their Higher Power.
I can totally relate.
I remember one time I was going through yet another break-up and the pain was agonizing. I was going through “person withdrawal” in a big way. I remember wanting to drink so badly to ease the pain, but instead I drew a hot bath, slid in, curled up in a fetal position and sobbed uncontrollably. I yelled, “God, are you there? Are you fucking there?” I didn’t hear a thing at the time, but little by little I began leaning in to hear the whispers of love. I began slowly working my way back to a path toward healing and awakening.
Recovery from addiction is a spiritual endeavor
For me, and this is just my two cents, recovery from addiction is a spiritual endeavor. It’s a call to delve deeply into the psyche/soul, excavating so much grime that has been covering a beautiful spirit for years.
And it’s hard work too.
Like peeling the layers of an onion, you’re sure to shed some tears. It doesn’t matter if you call your Higher Power God, Buddha, Love, Source, Energy, Great Spirit, Universal Energy; there is SOMETHING greater and more powerful than us. This power can help you begin to recover from any addiction.
Will you trust?
I’ve learned to trust the process and trust that as I humbly surrender, day by day things are working out for my good. Do you know that during the dark night of my soul I learned more about myself and life in general than 30 years prior? I woke up to the reality that I had some major inner healing work to do. I had wounds that trickled all the way back to childhood. I had faulty coping skills that kept me blind and stuck. I had no idea who I really was, listening to this old CD programming that began playing when I was a little girl.
Replacing codependency with spirituality
Codependency caused me to look for my worth in others. Spirituality helps me find my worth in God and Love. I am worthy of love. I am love at my core. Addiction blinded me from seeing my true beauty. All those years I had simply forgotten who I really was, so I’m grateful today that I went through an “awakening” to discover a truth that really has set ME free. Now, if you’re balking at the idea of spirituality, it’s ok. Your journey is yours. I do admonish you to take an honest look to see if you are basing your judgment on some old wounds.
- Maybe you had a bad experience at church or with religious people.
Let it go.
- Maybe you grew up a certain religion and it does nothing for you.
Let it go.
- Maybe you think the concept of God is a fairy tale.
Let it go.
Now, you can have your beliefs. Think what you wish, but I ask you to consider walking a path that is solely yours. There are many paths to recovery and many paths to spirituality. Navigate through various ones and find yours! I have friends that belong to all sorts of paths: Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Shaman, Atheists, Agnostics, Muslim, and those that simply follow a path and have no name for it. It’s all ok!
I mean, who are we to judge?
Listen, I’m rooting for you. I believe that you don’t have to stay stuck in addiction hell. Will recovery require work? You bet! It will be tough at times, so stand tall, take a deep breath, and clothe yourself in a resolve like never before. Find your support system- you’re going to need some positive peeps to root you on. And, of course, consider reaching out to an addictions specialist too. They can help! Have questions? Want to share your problem or story?
Visit Recovery.org Forum here. Would love to connect.