Fear and resentment dominated my thoughts and I made decisions based on self which caused me harm and harmed others. Therefore my illness is a result of relying on self. Maybe most people who become seriously addicted do have latent trauma. Maybe it’s a good idea, for mental health reasons, to confront and deal with your baggage, and doing this in the name of addiction recovery isn’t the worst excuse. It was over, and I knew I was well and truly beaten! In the case of the addict, alcohol (or some other substance or activity) is used as a medication to treat the spiritual malady.
But we were never satisfied, because but the living presence of God can quench our parched souls. Addiction is a spiritual disease because it represents an individual’s attempt to disconnect from reality and any sense of spirituality. Simply put, they feel a terrible loneliness at their very soul or center of being. However, this does not mean, necessarily, they’ve abandoned their faith. This resistance to anything spiritual is the biggest obstacle some addicts confront.
The Spiritual Malady of Addiction: What Is It Exactly?
The only solution to a spiritual malady is a spiritual awakening. Only once we open the spiritual channels and begin to accept a Higher Power into our lives can we hope to find a solution to our alcoholic condition. You’re probably wondering what a spiritual malady is. A spiritual malady is a disconnect or separation. Anyone can be spiritually maladapted, but as an alcoholic, we use alcohol to deal with having a spiritual malady.
An inventory is just a list—in our case a list of people and events that have contributed to our issue. A really effective tool for building that list is to ask ourselves questions. If we’re serious about our recovery, if we really want to experience freedom from these behaviors that keep us in bondage, we have to be rigorously honest with our answers. But like it says in the serenity prayer; we accept hardship as a pathway to peace. So physical cravings are not the primary reason we slip.
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It simply means we are spiritually blocked off from the Power of God, which enables us to remain sober, happy, joyous, and free. Many people are initially turned off to the idea of the program because they believe it preaches religion and God, and many addicts and alcoholics have no desire to pursue a religious answer. But the beauty of the 12-steps is that they are spiritually based as opposed to religious. What that means is that all that is required is the belief in a power greater than yourself. There is no church you must attend or strict practices you must adhere to in organized worship of said higher power, it is a completely individual and personal experience. In other words, the mental and physical factors of addictive and compulsive behaviors are put into remission AFTER the “spiritual malady” is overcome.
- By using this approach, a recovering addict can experience a notable change in their outlook.
- Strengthening this relationship with a spiritual being brought us hope that we can recover from the mental and physical suffering of alcoholism.
- The way humans think is on a spectrum of self-centeredness and god-centeredness.
- If we make that a daily discipline we will never regret it.
I am not a representative of AA and I do not speak on behalf of the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. I am just an agnostic member of AA who believes in the program of recovery. At times, I express my personal opinions about issues that have directly affected my journey.
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Here are some things you can do to work through your spiritual malady even if you don’t believe in God or have an understanding of your higher power. In sobriety, it is so important to maintain conscious contact with a higher power and count our blessings. Being spiritually maladapted can come from a lack of gratitude.
There are as many different definitions of what spirituality means as there are alcoholics in recovery. A spiritual awakening in the life of any alcoholic in recovery is a very personal experience. As addicts we can become so focused on the outward form our addiction takes – whether that booze, drugs, sex, overeating, etc. – that we overlook its deep roots at the core of our being. Is describing, essentially is referring to a stark void in our lives that we constantly attempt to fill with outside things such as drugs, alcohol, sex, shopping, or anything we can think to try to feel better. 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.
A spiritual malady can manifest itself in many different ways. For some, it may manifest as a feeling of being disconnected from others or as a sense of emptiness. For others, it may manifest as anger, anxiety, or depression. Alcoholics Anonymous bases the 12-step program on 12 affirmations, or what they call 12 traditions.
Thankfully, the “spiritual malady” is no longer a “missing piece” of Step One for me. What can “spiritual malady” possibly mean to someone who doesn’t believe in God? Is the whole idea of someone spiritual malady definition being spiritually ill acceptable? These are questions that I have had to struggle with as an agnostic in AA. When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically.