The Spiritual Malady: A Hole in the Soul

So what do these three parts of the illness of alcoholism and addiction mean? Here is a simple breakdown to help understand the definition as defined by AA and NA.

People who are not alcoholics or addicts can be restless, irritable, and discontent when they are living with resentments and fear. When they don’t work on their spiritual condition, they may continue to harm others and themselves with their selfishness and self-centeredness. When they’re not spiritually fit, they don’t get the obsession to drink. They just won’t live up to the joy God intended them to have. The struggle for anyone with a substance use disorder is that the focus, outside of treatment and 12-Step meetings, is typically on the substance. What we learn in recovery is that the problem centers in the mind. There is an obsessive quality and an emotional sensitivity, often experienced in childhood, that later has the possibility of turning to an obsession to seek solace from the way they feel.

The Missing Piece: The Spiritual Malady

I am aware that there are many paths to recovery- my path has been the 12-Steps. While this may not be for everybody, the principles contained within the steps and the program are applicable and useful to anyone seeking sobriety and recovery. I’ve struggled with a consistent practice of steps with now 19 yrs of sobriety. I was reading last night in I Peter about living in a way that my prayers are not be hindered. And the book by Chuck C , A New Pair of Glasses, defining the SM as a feeling of consciously separated from God.

  • This is the type of spiritually maladapted behavior that we typically exhibit in active alcoholism.
  • Unhappiness to us and others, discontent, and, frequently, mental and bodily ill health are the direct results of Sin.
  • I relate to my fellow human beings when I am not in fear or shame.
  • The first thing apparent was that this world and its people were often quite wrong.

It is the emptiness we feel on such a deep level that we turn to self-medication in order to alleviate the sadness and despair that go hand in hand with. But in our quest to fill this void with any and everything we can think of, we completely miss that the only thing that can actually fulfill us a spiritual connectedness to something greater than ourselves. Frequently, individuals who struggle with alcohol addiction are also experiencing a mental health issue like an anxiety disorder or a depressive disorder. Abusing alcohol is a form of self-medicating that, at first and superficially, seems to help. However, it quickly becomes apparent that doing so is only masking the underlying issues.

Understanding What a Spiritual Malady Is

Without a connection to a higher power, it can get quite ugly in sobriety. Unlike normal people alcoholics are unsettled to the core. After reading ‘The Doctor’s Opinion,’ ‘Bill’s Story,’ and ‘There is a Solution,’ in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, we came to an understanding that we have no control whatsoever over alcohol or drugs.

What does lack of control cause?

Having the right amount of control is what helps keep you balanced. Feeling that you have no control can lead to anxiety or depression.

We hope you are convinced now that God can remove whatever self-will has blocked you off from Him. If you spiritual malady have already made a decision, and an inventory of your grosser handicaps, you have made a good beginning.

The AA View of Alcoholism

Our effort must always be on that relationship and how we’re living. It was all over and I knew that I was well and truly beaten! David B told me that by going to therapy, “I was trying to fix a spiritual problem with a psychological solution”. I eventually accepted that the twelve steps are the spiritual tools that will help me to recover from this “hopeless condition of mind and body.” (BB There Is a Solution, p.20).

It is the idea that when an addict or alcoholic drinks or gets high, after a certain point, they have little or no control over the amount of drugs and alcohol that they take. They are often literally unable to stop for extended periods of time.

The Power of Obsession in Alcoholism and Addiction

We admitted our wrongs honestly and were willing to set these matters straight. First, we searched out the flaws in our make-up which caused our failure. Being convinced that self, manifested in various ways, was what had defeated us, we considered its common manifestations. A business which takes no regular inventory usually goes broke.

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