How this works, I can’t say for certain but it does work and very often at some point during working the Steps, the addict or alcoholic will notice that they have had a complete shift in the way they view life. They will be more open to what life and the universe is telling them, and they will not longer have that knot in their chest telling them they are alone. We use to blot out the feeling of loneliness we experience and we use to numb ourselves from the existential pain we experience simply by existing. When the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous was written and published in 1939, when the spiritual malady is overcome the times and language of those times was incredibly different than modern times. This is one of the reasons that Big Book study groups have become so popular among recovering alcoholics. Apart from dissecting the Big Book so as to have a firmer grasp on the 12 Steps and program and in general, it also is designed to help us decipher the intricate language and wording used from a different time period. Old timers and recovering people with more experience can explain in layman’s terms just what the author Bill W. Was trying to relay in a far more easily digestible fashion.
Instead, we help our clients foster an open attitude to trying new solutions. Other methods may work for certain people, and they have every right to explore the help available to them. We tried many other methods, and we still found ourselves in desperate need of real help. The 12-Steps is what finally worked for us, though we had to be willing to follow the program as it is outlined. Initially we “tried” the 12-Steps and did not find success. Once we finally took the 12-Steps with earnest willingness, honesty, and humility, we found ourselves, and our lives soon transformed. This is why Jaywalker Lodge is firmly rooted in the 12-Steps of recovery and the principles behind them. In 12-Step programs, this too is an important part of the forgiveness and letting go of resentments process. Everett L. Worthington Jr., a psychology professor, and licensed clinical psychologist at Virginia Commonwealth University developed the REACH process for forgiveness. Originally developed for his students, this program has now been tested, studied, and is one of the two most used approaches to forgiveness.
The clamors of the world proved too much for the majority and they just couldn’t keep it up. Most abandoned the spiritual solution they had found in favor of religion and other dubious spiritual movements or philosophies. There is after all, a lot of God talk in those meetings and in their “Big Book,” Alcoholics Anonymous. God is the main feature of the 12-Step approach to substance abuse. And some of its member do have a culty reliance upon one another, rather than God.
Is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically. On page 62 the text explains that“Selfishness-self-centeredness! But many of us resisted, even long into to our recovery. Convicted of our new way of life, we dove headlong into meetings, moral inventories, sponsorship, and service, overlooking the quiet pursuit of conscious contact with our creator. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous pragmatically talks about spirituality. Above all, the spirituality required for successful recovery involves open-mindedness.
A Higher Power and Our Spiritual Awakening
Most of the time when we stop to take a look at this, we find that we also have acted in similar ways. Forgiveness of one’s self and others seems from all perspectives to offer peace of mind and a release from stress. However, despite these studies and statistics, it can still be very hard to forgive. AA literature also talks about “picking up the simple kit of spiritual tools” and as a result being “rocketed into the fourth dimension of existence”. That is another way of describing what a spiritual awakening is like. The word “spirit” itself is very revealing, as many words used in recovery are when we look at their etymology.
However, as many in recovery have learned, it’s vital for sobriety and much sought-after peace of mind. When you forgive someone for something they have done to you it doesn’t just erase the memory. Recollections of the past and the situation will resurface again, however, it’s vital to not get back into harboring resentments but rather look at the situation with forgiveness. If needed, repeat these steps for the same person or situation you are Sober House trying to forgive. For this next step, it’s important to try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. While you are not excusing the behavior, it’s essential to try to see where they were coming from at the time. For example, maybe they are under enormous stress at work or just received bad news which caused them to lash out at you. Even though the behavior isn’t acceptable, it’s good to understand where they may have been coming from.
Both The Big Book and The Twelve and Twelve have remained largely unaltered since they were first written. The reason for this is that the solution to the problem is timeless. By sticking closely to the original message of recovery, we of AEA are not only relieved from addictive eating and food obsession, we have found a life that is happy, joyous and free. 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. I’ve struggled with a consistent practice of steps with now 19 yrs of sobriety. I was reading last night in I Peter about living in a way that my prayers are not be hindered. And the book by Chuck C , A New Pair of Glasses, defining the SM as a feeling of consciously separated from God.
If we start by trying to recover from alcoholism and addiction and find we still have other issues then obviously address these with outside professional and specialist help. Since AA began, I’ve taken immense wallops in all these areas because of my failure to grow up, emotionally and spiritually”. I contend that alcoholism is an emotional disorder which results in chemical dependency on the substance when the spiritual malady is overcome of alcohol. However in order to treat it we have to first contend with the symptomatic manifestation of this disorder, chronic alcohol use, as it is the most life threatening aspect of this disorder when we present our selves at AA. For me this section is saying our emotion dysregulation leads to feelings of being “restless, irritable and discontented” which prompt a return to drinking.
“When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically” p.64 Alcoholics Anonymous
Wouldn’t that meant the 12 Steps would not work for them? If they are entirely normal then surely that would mean they have no resentments, they are not self centered etc. I understand that the point Dr Silkworth was trying to get across was to outline the one commonality between all types of alcoholics which is the phenomenon of craving. However, my understanding is that the root of an alcoholics illness is the spiritual sickness which manifests as self centeredness, self seeking behavior which arises from resentments, anger & fear. Now as an increasing number of people look to a spiritual sickness as being at least a part of their problem, more people are seeking a spiritual solution.
As mentioned, 12-Step programs lay this out in digestible pieces throughout the 12 steps. In addition, the REACH approach to forgiveness has been helpful for many. In the Bible, forgiveness is mentioned nearly 100 times. It is also taught in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Rabbis from as early as the first century taught that a person should forgive, forgive, and forgive. These three times of forgiveness were based on words from the Old Testament prophet, Amos. Going through the 12 steps of AA or another 12-Step group such as Narcotics Anonymous , helps to reveal the resentments we are harboring. When we are resentful at a person, institution, or situation, we are not accepting and not forgiving others who have harmed us. The 12 steps, as they are laid out, help to not only reveal possibly deep-seated resentments but also discover forgiveness. In Steps 8 and 9 of the 12-Step program, making amends and asking forgiveness from others is the focus.
Bear with me on this one, but I believe that the spiritual malady that addicts and alcoholics face is also experienced by almost everyone else on the planet, yet it expresses itself in different manners. This aversion to all things spiritual is often times the main stumbling block that many people new to recovery face. They have to find a way to come to terms with the idea that there is something greater out there than themselves and that in order to overcome their addiction, they have to at least attempt to connect with it. Joint Commission.Our clinical staff is made up of licensed and certified mental health clinicians. The spirituality our clients develop in treatment frequently provides them the open-mindedness to make good use of the high level of medical care available to them at MARR. Also, spirituality in recovery does not exclude competent medical care. In fact, we believe that the open-mindedness that our clients foster through a spiritual approach actually enables them to receive the care they need. It is not just the 12-Steps that we work diligently and deeply. We also engage daily with the 12-Step lifestyle — unity, service, and recovery.
Just an attempt to stimulate thought or discussion and provide information based on my study and experience. Today I look further at the disease of alcoholism focusing on it as a spiritual malady. In the Big Book of A.A., the terms “spiritual experience,” “spiritual awakening,” or “psychic change” come up again and again. Yeah I did kind of think that The Doctors Opinion is more about the allergy to alcohol after all it is from a Doctor.
- Of Alcoholics Anonymous, “we have been not only mentally and physically ill, we have been spiritually sick.
- The desire chip, also known as the One Day or 24 Hours chip, is used to help the member pursue their desire to stay sober for the first 24 hours.
- For many recovering alcoholics this may be another unpalatable truth, that they have issues with emotional responding, with being emotionally mature.
- For this next step, it’s important to try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes.
- This is a Judea-Christian belief structure of bad versus good and I believe that I did not join AA to become good but well.
The 12-Steps focus on addressing and fixing the spiritual problems that led us into our addiction, and by doing so, we find that they allow us to positively change our mental and physical issues. At Oceanfront Recovery, our team of addiction treatment professionals understands how to approach alcohol addiction as the chronic disease it is. We offer extensive detox and therapies to help individuals address the physical aspects of the disease as well as the psychological and spiritual aspects. Thankfully, the“spiritual malady”is no longer a“missing piece”of Step One for me. It is a reality of my powerlessness and unmanageability and enables me to see why I so desperately need to seek a Power Greater than myself. And unless this malady is recognized, and a course of action is taken to enable God to remove it, the root of our alcoholic illness can lie dormant and burn us when we least expect it. 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. This spiritual malady is the restless spirit, the soul sickness that if left untreated will begin to ooze symptoms of emotional insecurity worry, anger, self-pity, and depression, even if we have been sober for years. Futures embraces the complexity of addiction, co-occurring mental health, and primary mental health conditions to empower recovery and improve outcomes through evidence-based practice, coordinated care, and mission-driven culture. For the addict or alcoholic, this often times means working the Steps and in the process of working these steps, getting the required “psychic change” that will expel the obsession to use and allow you to live a meaningful and happy life.
I was the director in the drama of life and managing the world so I could get what I thought I needed to feel ok. Fear and resentment dominated my thoughts and I made decisions based on self which caused me harm and harmed others. Regardless of beliefs, a spirituality of open-mindedness provides the opportunity for a new experience of life. It allows a person an opportunity not only to escape addiction but to have a life they never thought possible. When we look at people and events from a different perspective, forgiveness can be easier. Forgiveness is an essential part of recovery and long-term sobriety, no matter what your addiction is or how you learn to forgive. As shown in the above examples, there isn’t a downside to forgiveness. Forgiveness sets you free from pain and transgressions of the past. Being committed to becoming a person who forgives is essential to achieve ongoing forgiveness, peace of mind, and long-term sobriety.