This one little word instantly causes many of us in addiction or early sobriety to cringe, recoil, or just say “UGH!”
This reaction can be due to fear, a lack of understanding, a bad experience with religion, or a total disbelief of some “lofty being in the sky.” Maybe it’s all of the above!
It is common for alcoholics and addicts to struggle with the concept of God and spirituality in early sobriety. They see the word “God” in the 12-steps for the first time and immediately believe we are a religious organization. Or worse, a cult.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Alcoholics Anonymous is a program founded upon spiritual principles, not religious ones. In order to achieve sobriety, one does not need to worship the god of a certain religion. All he or she needs is the willingness to believe in something greater than themselves.
In the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous it states, “Lack of power, that was our dilemma. We had to find a power by which we could live, and it had to be a Power greater than ourselves.”
The chapter goes on to say “When, therefore, we speak to you of God, we mean your own conception of God.”
What it really boils down to is this. Alcoholics and addicts do not know how to manage their own lives. They cannot live with the drink or drug and they cannot live without it.
Usually they use to escape reality, because it feels so much better than whatever emotion it is they are experiencing. That “lack of power” that our book talks about, that is also the void or emptiness an alcoholic experiences every moment of every day.
It’s the feeling of never being good enough and better than, all in the same token. It’s being in a room full of people, yet feeling completely alone.
Spirituality is the one thing that is able to fill that void in a healthy manner. Spirituality is a personal search for connection with all things and one’s own experience with a power beyond themselves.
It is understanding that a Higher Power is centered in love and compassion, and the hope is that one day you not only feel that love within yourself, but that you also have the ability to project it outward.
Our Higher Power is meant to give new meaning to our lives, offer a new perspective and a better connection with not only our fellows, but the world in its entirety.
For some, just the fellowship as a whole, is power enough in the beginning. Or there are those that live by the acronym, “Good Orderly Direction”.
That is – doing the right thing, even when no one is looking – having integrity.
Putting down the chemical is not enough for us.
We cannot live dirty and expect to stay clean.
Contact Us Today
At Clearbrook, we know the matters of religion and spirituality can be confusing, but please do not be discouraged.
Here, we live by the 12-step fellowship that promotes spirituality and abstinence. We believe a patient needs to come to their own conception of God, and when they do, sobriety and peace begin to live in the same place.
Contact our Admissions Specialists today and begin your road to recovery.