Spirituality in recovery is the key to long-term success from an addiction. But many people do not know exactly what “spirituality” means. Some people are just plain uncomfortable with the word, much less the actual concept of spirituality. So what is spirituality, why is spirituality in recovery important and how does a person find it?
What is Spirituality?
Drugs or alcohol is the addicted person’s Higher Power. Once the drugs or alcohol is removed, a person is usually spiritually empty. Spirituality in recovery is about re-connecting with all the pieces in one’s life. It’s also about connecting with a positive, healing “Higher Power”. One person’s Higher Power might be God in the traditional religious sense. Or it might be a God of the person’s own understanding and personal view. For another person, a Higher Power might mean nature, family or a 12-step fellowship. A person’s Higher Power can be anything that is meaningful to that person in helping him or her stay away from drugs or alcohol.
Why is Spirituality in Recovery Important?
“Recovery” means recovering all aspects of life that are lost, neglected and damaged by addiction. That includes spirituality. Spirituality in recovery helps a person repair the devastating losses that accompany addiction. It helps a person fill the voids that contributed to the addiction and the voids that are left after the addiction is halted. When voids are filled with positive elements, drugs or alcohol do not need to be used to fill them.
How is Spirituality Developed?
Spirituality in recovery involves rebuilding the self from the inside out over time. It means redefining one’s ideals and value system and overcoming faulty self-will. Healthy relationships and reengaging in society are aspects of spirituality that must be recovered as well. In recovery a person will begin to find acceptance, meaning and gratitude. Patience, forgiveness and humility are some other important aspects of spirituality in recovery.
A person generally finds spirituality in recovery comforting. It reduces stress, worry and fear. Spirituality in recovery does not happen all at once. It takes willingness. And it’s like any change – it happens a little at a time as a person continues down the path of long-term recovery.