Just for today, drop out of the race. Take it easy, relax, sip some tea, feel the sunshine. Today, you do not have to be anything or do anything to prove your worth. Who you are at this moment is … Continue reading
Yes, we have to accept the past, as we cannot change it. But we can study it for wisdom, look into it for truth, examine it for understanding. Look at the past with open eyes. Try to see all the … Continue reading
There is depth,
underneath the surface,
underused. Continue reading
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I just responded to a post from a friend who lost two people to addiction this week. My response was heartfelt and taken from my own experience. This is what I said, “I have to remember this is a feelings … Continue reading
We walk into the rooms with our inner children showing peeking out in pain and suffering… Scared, lost, vulnerable, sad… crushed into submission. Broken-spirited. At the jumping off place where the choice is finally just living or dying. Our act … Continue reading
Alcoholics We may be physically old enough for our wants not to hurt us, but we aren’t emotionally old enough yet. Our wants can hurt us. Our feelings can hurt us. What to do with this “pain in our feelings”? … Continue reading
Acceptance and expectations–two dirty words we hear a lot in the rooms of recovery. Both embody concepts most of us are quite uncomfortable with. We don’t want to accept the way things are, instead we want things to be the … Continue reading
There were times in our lives
when we knew we were touched by an unseen hand,
when we knew we were saved by something beyond ourselves,
when we recognized a force greater than ourselves
that had us in its loving embrace.
There were times when we were spared tragedies,
consequences, or what we thought were our just rewards,
and then there were times
when we were just grateful to be alive.
There were those times
when we realized we had been given a gift,
or a purpose to live by.
There were those times
when we learned to be quiet,
when we learned to be still,
when we surrendered
when we asked for help,
when we prayed for guidance.
And finally there were the times
when we walked away from our old lives and into recovery…
where we found friendship, faith, hope, and support,
where we found unconditional love, understanding and acceptance,
where we truly have another chance.
This is an article originally published in 2012, by Maria Mooney. With her permission I am posting it again because it deserves another reading. She discusses the connection between addiction and spirituality so well. Her bio is posted below her article. Thank you Maria, for your wonderful insights.
The Spirituality of Addiction
With the profoundly sad and untimely death of several high profile celebrities recently flooding the media, addiction has been on the minds of many. I live and work in the world of the social sciences, and my focus is on understanding human behavior. Anyone who knows anything about addiction of any kind (drugs, alcohol, food, sex, shopping, etc.) understands, through current research, that it is an extremely complex, multi-factorial, progressive, and chronic brain disease by marked changes and malfunctions in brain chemistry and triggered and affected by biological and environmental factors. But what if, without discounting the disease model and other scientifically based and supported models of addiction but rather adding to them, we look at addiction through a spiritual lens? What would we see?
Spirituality can be defined in numerous ways but it largely refers to a belief in a power governing the universe that is greater than oneself, the sense of interconnectedness with all living beings, and the quest for self-knowledge, meaning, and purpose in one’s life. When an individual uses his/her substance of choice, the usual outcome is a detachment and disconnection from the present moment, uncomfortable feelings that the individual seeks to avoid through self-medication, and ultimately, the self. Addiction is a disease of isolation, and as the individual sinks deeper and deeper into the disease, he/she becomes more isolated from others and oneself as deeply rooted feelings of inner insufficiency and not being “enough” create the overwhelming need to use.
A lack of connection to authentic self, important others, a higher power, and the larger community can each contribute to feelings of isolation and emptiness, low self-worth, and a pervasive sense of unhappiness that can contribute to and/or perpetuate addictive behaviors. Being of service is a profound way that recovering individuals often give back and regain a sense of self-worth and purpose as they work toward maintaining long-term sobriety. This suggests that aspects of spirituality, including healthy interpersonal relationships and feeling deeply connected to others in profound ways, contribute to overall feelings of health, well-being, and meaning in one’s life.
If we can connect to who we really are and face the dark parts of ourselves that we invest so much energy into repressing, we would have the opportunity to shine a light onto our shadow selves, those dark corners of our minds where we store trauma and mad ideas, and experience them for what they are in the moment without judgment or denial. The disease of addiction is so complex, and long-term, interdisciplinary professional help is most often needed to confront and heal from past traumas and maintain abstinence and sobriety. I have a profound respect and admiration for those individuals who are committed to putting in the daily work that is often required to maintain sobriety, and I have a deep compassion for those individuals who are currently struggling with the disease of addiction.
No amount of wealth, beauty, fame, power, knowledge, achievement or success can replace the satisfaction and fulfillment that exist when we feel connected to something greater than us. A regular spiritual practice allows us to find meaning and purpose in our lives as we travel down the sometimes windy and bumpy road we call “life” and can be a powerful tool in recovery from any condition. Feelings of contentment, peace, joy, and love replace feelings of fear, unhappiness, anxiety, and discontent as one connects deeply with oneself and with others. As the mental chatter begins to cease and one feels centered in and connected to the present moment, however uncomfortable, true healing can begin.
Published February 26, 2012 at 3:35 AM
About Maria Mooney
Maria Mooney, MSW, LSW, (prefontaine44.blogspot.com) is a licensed social worker, high raw vegan blogger diagnosed with and healing from a progressive neurological disease, RSD/CRPS. She enjoys reading, writing, yoga, the sport of long distance running, spending time in nature, and being with her loved ones, especially her Goldendoodle, Shorter. You can find her on Twitter @HappyHealing44 and on Facebook at facebook.com/prefontaine44.
Some sayings I’ve heard in the rooms and found helpful…
The Bible says, “And it shall come to pass.” Not, “And it shall come to stay.”
Expect nothing. Blame no one. Do something.
A problem shared is a problem halved.
The most important part of enlightenment is lighten up.
God does for us what we can’t do for ourselves.
If you’re thinking about committing suicide, wait five years.
Otherwise, you will have killed the wrong person.
The only dumb question is the one not asked.
Live in the solution, not the problem.
Prayers are us calling God, intuition is when He answers.
Pain is the touchstone of growth.
When the pain is of no more value, the healing is instantaneous.
You are in the perfect relationship because it requires the one thing you are incapable of giving.
When you are able to give it, you will grow.
Ask yourself, “What would God do in this situation?”
Don’t drink, clean house and help another alcoholic.
No God. No Peace. Know God. Know Peace.
In order to forgive someone, we must first forgive ourselves.
The things I used to do that don’t work anymore usually cause me pain, either physical or emotional.
The shortest prayers are, “Thank You” and “Help”.
Difficulties are God’s errands.