Is Addiction a Disease of Spirituality?
What does ‘Spirituality’ mean? It is a vague term but it means a lot, and it means different things to different people. Spirituality can loosely refer to anything of or relating to the spirit, especially a person’s own individual path towards inner peace and happiness. How is it relevant to individuals with an addiction or those in recovery? Having an addiction affects the individual’s spirituality, and they feel as though their spiritual path is through the addiction.
How Does Addiction Affect Spirituality?
An individual with an addiction usually doesn’t follow a moral compass or do positive things. Addiction can send the individual down a path of destruction. The lines between right and wrong become blurred. As the individual’s body starts getting affected so does their spirit. Often, individuals with an addiction start lying about their addiction to friends and family and it can go as far as them stealing from their loved ones to get access to more drugs or alcohol. Family and friends of individuals with an addiction have been known to say that they don’t even recognize them anymore.
If and when the individual decides to stop using drugs or alcohol and get sober, they will not automatically go back to being a good and moral person. While they may be able to behave in a moral manner once the fog of addiction has lifted, it will take more than that to repair their spirituality.
Spirituality In Recovery
Recovery brings with it intense and confusing emotions, and that is mostly a spiritual journey for the individual. It is common for an individual in recovery to feel guilty about the things they have said or done during their addiction, and they may find it difficult to forgive themselves. However, forgiveness is essential, even though it may be hard. If the individual doesn’t forgive themselves and start afresh they will go back to being the person they were during the addiction and could even relapse.
Spirituality can keep an individual strong in recovery. As their spiritual side improves, it can keep the individual focused on recovery and less likely to relapse. However, staying rooted in spirituality requires practice, and the individual needs to be totally honest first and foremost with themselves. Admitting to themselves and others that they have a problem with addiction is the first step. Many addiction recovery programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous are meant to address spirituality and help members readjust their moral compasses. If the individual has a strong support system, within and outside of a program, that can help them stay on the path to recovery.
At the end of the day, addiction is a physical disease, but it’s also a spiritual one. It damages the spirit as well as the body and mind. Seeking help for addiction will ensure that the damage done to the individual’s spirit is not permanent.
At Blueprints we know that recovery is hard work, and we are here to help you through it. You are not alone. Call us to get started on your path to recovery.