The methods used by chronic substance abuse can be effective in treating all kinds of addiction including subtle but painful behaviours. A spiritual path based on ethical principles and morality-growth is primary. Professional help is often needed and life changing for many. Spiritual and professional guidance are not mutually exclusive and work beautifully together. There is hope for ANYONE and all souls seeking higher connection are valuable and equal. If you are suffering from addiction, seek and take ALL the help accessible to you.
Recovery from any hardship is difficult but the joy experienced outshines all the agony. You can even use the very worst of your pain to help other suffering people, adding value to all you have been through. It is enlightened and majestical. Addicts become useful and productive. They practice gratitude and forgiveness. They seek to live in grace and enlightenment. It is a life of transformation and profound beauty.
The next phase
As the addict thaws out into their true self, learned behaviours and toxic coping mechanisms lose their power and stop working. Things that are commonly acceptable in society to make people feel better no longer have the desired effect on the transforming individual. For example, binge eating, empty sexual conduct and nicotine lose the desired effect. External things do not bring the comfort they once did and often become part of a wider addiction narrative. It is complex and interesting. The journey is an ongoing upgrade and learning which promises meaning and purpose to a life that once seemed doomed.
The life of an addict is not gloom and misery. Quite the opposite. In recovery they are commonly living a life of service in gratitude. Their mindset is positive and hopeful. Many are even glad they have become addicts because their state of consciousness is so fulfilling that they feel they could not have reached such bliss without what they suffered. People in recovery live life “one day at a time’ learning to develop true presence and honest living. Embracing mindfulness, they bring joy and happiness to life through radical change. They try to live a lifestyle with awareness and responsibility causing lest harm possible. Often, they unify in communities with other people like them. They have a shared goal and approach the reality of the illness with humour and compassion.
Freedom from the desire to drink and use drugs is ground zero and the foundations of sobriety. Yet, it is not the answer to addiction. The answer is spirituality. A life built on spiritual foundations can release the addict from deep obsession and compulsive behaviours. Therapy, rehabilitation, and ongoing professional help are also needed by many. The addict must self-diagnose and be willing to work for their recovery. Anything is possible but it comes with dedication and consistency. Unfortunately, many never reach the miracle that every sober alcoholic knows they are.
Recovery is a relearning of how to exist. It is a new routine with tricky steps. But they dance anyway! Mistakes are inevitable yet they learn that it is the first drink or drug that does the damage. Without the first it is impossible for the chaos of powerlessness and unmanageable lives. Recovered people do not use substances, no matter what. They live life with a new program designed for living. They experience pain in real time and set on a path of holistic healing. Acceptance that complete abstinence as the only method is crucial. There can be no doubt that they can drink normally or return to a using style that is not destructive and damaging. This mindset is the real freedom from addiction!
Some solution-based programs believe that addiction is a ‘spiritual malady’. The answer for many is reliance on a Higher Power. Theologian Caroline Myss says that everyone who awakens to a spiritual path first needs to go through a period of madness to reach an awakened state. This is certainly true for the recovered addict. There are also similar testimonies about spirituality from people inflicted with various other mental health and physical breakdowns.
Long term abstinence takes faith, courage, and surrender. The true alcoholic and addict often believe that no human power can restore their sanity and so a relationship with a power greater than them is desirable and indeed powerful. There is no rule for the addict apart from abstinence. There are different strands of thought to addiction recovery and still much to learn, discuss and be uncovered on this topic. Fundamentally, it must be what works for the individual. Since the beginning of recorded history alcoholism is seen as an insanity that there is no known cure for. Spiritual solution is not a new concept for addiction. It has just become less revered, yet more popular for the desperate and suffering.
Freedom means that they have been relieved from the obsession to drink or use drugs. They no longer engage in the compulsiveness of active addiction. They are free to go wherever they like protected by the spirit of the Universe. They are guided by the divine and live honouring body, mind, and spirit so they can live in the highest state of consciousness possible.