In Grace we can still experience negative emotions but God allows us to see them for what they are and not react. His Grace takes the distress out of thee negative emotions.
Often people like us have some of the strongest will power that exists. Addiction and alcoholism are both a 3 fold disease, meaning there are three distinct areas that alcoholism affects and the reason you cannot stop drinking and using. If you wish to contact a specific medical detox center then find a specific treatment center using our addiction treatment locator tool. It is loaded with old ideas and religiosity, tainted by overuse, abuse, and centuries of bad press. It is sad that countless addicts and alcoholics have rejected 12 Step recovery because the G_d word is up on the wall and included in prayers and literature.
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I am not only fearful I have reacted to their arrival via shame based defence mechanisms and reactions. I am shamed and disgusted that my neighourhood has come to this. I am dismissive of them, intolerant, impatient and arrogant towards them.
In other words, I had not processed these episodes emotionally and embedded these events in my long term memory like healthy more emotionally mature people do. I did not realise that the engine driving this emotion dysregulation was chronic shame. I would add to this that I also get distress via fears of rejection from others, I suffer from fear based shame to a chronic extent. This is how a mental health disorder manifests itself as distorted fear based thinking which appear, if acted upon, to make one’s situation a whole lot worse. 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. For example, one variable I believe is slightly different in alcoholism to other affective disorders is distress based impulsivity which leads to maladaptive decision making, it leads to always wanting more of that…that anything. Here we have an abnormal reaction to alcohol and for some alcoholics a maladjustment to life.
We couldn’t understand why the people surrounding us could feel happiness or contentment, so we turned to drugs and alcohol as a means of self-medicating our perceived shortcomings. From our time spent feeding our addictions, we feel that the opposite begins to happen. Rather than providing a feeling of relief, we find ourselves in a perpetual “dark night of the soul,” cut off from any sense of spiritual comfort. We can also see this as years of not being able to regulate our negative spiritual malady emotions properly, if you wish to see them as sins. Everyone in recovery has secrets they would rather not disclose, but there are not many “original” sins as one suspects and that haven’t been shared in 12 step recovery. Someone you are going to open up to and discuss intimate stuff with, someone who will ultimately know the shameful secrets that can keep a person spiritually and emotionally sick and will continue to do so until we share this stuff and let it all go.
The message of recovery is usually from someone who has recovered from alcoholism, this is a power greater than yourself as he/she has used certain tools to recover and this is now being passed on to you, as they were passed onto him or her. The solution to your alcoholism is the same as the solution to their alcoholism.
In order to fully recover from alcoholism, addiction and addictive behaviours, we find we have to trust at least one other human being. “… unacknowledged thoughts and feelings become repressed and surface later through substitute emotions and dysfunctional behavior. Other emotions are substituted to hide the shame and maintain self esteem. Anger, exaggerated pride, anxiety and helplessness are substituted to keep from feeling the total blackness of being bad. The buried shame is expressed through defense mechanisms that shield negative unconscious material from surfacing. Finding out what is really going on with us emotionally is at the heart of recovery. That is why we have to constantly share how we are feeling with others so that we can find out what we are feeling.
What About God?
Sponsorship embodies the fellowship’s altruistic orientation, reflecting a “helping and helper therapy principle” . Sponsorship plays an important role in the recovery process. AA saved my life and I can never put into words the gratitude I have for AA.
What the book says is that the only thing that will solve our drink problem is a spiritual awakening, spiritual experience, attitude adjustment, or psychic change. Recovered means free from the obsession and constant struggle to stay sober. That will be lifted if you correctly follow the twelve steps in the book. Alcoholics Anonymous, the book that was created in the late 1930s was used to get people sober. Alcoholics would read and follow the steps in the book and get sober.
- The first of these is that individuals that are seeking to better themselves in one way or another are often eager to learn and thus open to the experience.
- The disease of alcohol and drug addiction is not just mental and physical but also spiritual.
- So we have two main ailments, distressed based wanting which results in the same negative emotions as being in a shame- based fear of rejection.
- That is why we have to constantly share how we are feeling with others so that we can find out what we are feeling.
- If you are an alcoholic, then you know you cannot just put the plug in the jug and quit.
AA may have started within the Oxford Group but has gradually moved away from their tenets. Explains, “If, when you honestly want to, you find that you cannot quit entirely, or if when drinking, you have little control over the amount you take, you are probably an alcoholic. If that be the case, you may be suffering from an illness which only a spiritual experience will conquer.” We embark upon a journey of recovery that allows us to develop a deep spiritual connection. Through our spiritual connection, we finally are given the power to overcome the disease and live happy, joyous, and free lives in sobriety. This spiritual malady, or spiritual disconnection, is the driving force behind our addiction and self-destructive behaviors. Without addressing this spiritual malady, we have absolutely no hope for intrinsic change or recovery.
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For me he was seeing the root of this https://ecosoberhouse.com/, this emotional disease. Desire obviously runs contrary to the idea of being in God’s will, in fact it is being in Self Will that seems to create distress in many people with addictive behaviours. It is a strange feeling of not wanting to be found out of being less than, not good enough. “If people realise what the real me is like, they will reject me! ” type thinking although a lot of this is unconscious and does not pop in to our minds as thoughts but is an unconscious self schema that shapes our behaviours. This is similar to relying on external means, i.e. alcohol, drugs, addictive behaviours to regulate our emotions and bolster our low self esteem. Since AA began, I’ve taken immense wallops in all these areas because of my failure to grow up, emotionally and spiritually”.
The mind and alcoholism are so cunning, baffling and powerful that we often cannot fathom how we ended up intoxicated when relying on our strong willpower to stay sober. The thoughts we have as alcoholics are often insidious in such a way that we can’t tell what is true or false. The Big Book talks about this delusion we develop in active addiction. This sin disease had very real psychological, emotional and physical and physiological effect on the mind and body. Sins were a contagion that mixed with the sins of others and the sins of families, groups, societies, cultures and countries. Due to the nature of frequent episodes of powerlessness over our behavior, attached to addiction and alcoholism, we often acted in a way we would never act in sobriety. We had limited control over behaviour at times due to intoxication and acted on occasion in a way that shames us today.
- As I would have had a resentment, it would have had a wolf pack of negative emotions attached.
- Unless, we let Go and Let God and ask God to remove these negative emotions/sins/defects of character we end up in a futile increasingly distressed spiral of negative emotions.
- My step 4 showed me this is the unhealthy fruit of my greed, gluttony, my lust, my sloth.
- First things first, if anticipation of the future and what holds spiritually is alive, lay it down.
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My inventory showed me also that I did not seem to have the facility previously to emotionally respond to the world in a mature way. It shows the areas of behaviour and attitudes that can be treated by working the steps. It shows us how our approach to life can possibly be transformed for the better. I am not advocating changing anything, I hope AA recovery remains as it is for 80 more years and much more years. I would not change one word in the first 164 pages of the BB. For example, false pride, intolerance, impatience, arrogance, shame, lust, gluttony, greed.
While this may not be for everybody, the principles contained within the steps and the program are applicable and useful to anyone seeking sobriety and recovery. I could identify when he went on to say, “the spiritual malady refers to a derangement of our thoughts, beliefs, and emotions. These things are out of whack and not aligned.“ The process of recovery is useful to remedy this problem. Many of us felt that there was something wrong with us or something missing—in short, we felt different from other people.
The Spiritual Malady Of Addiction
I also impressed upon him that mostly I can manage this emotional dysfunction but often I fail to and get into a resentful anger. Attempting to live according to God’s Will also helps me not react but to act with Grace. The guy was probably in guilt too as he could been working on his recovery more. If we leave self pity to fester long enough it becomes depression, that is my experience anyway. Defense mechanisms are central to psycho-analytic thought – such as projection etc, the idea that we expel “out of ourselves what we do not like about ourselves onto others.
If you are an alcoholic, then you know you cannot just put the plug in the jug and quit. If it were as easy as not eating a peanut anymore, then you would have stopped long ago. Conveniently, I overlooked the words ‘God as you understand Him (or Her’) ingeniously included in the steps. I was born Jewish and had studied both the Old and New Testament. I had been practicing meditation for almost 20 years and had read countless books on Eastern religion and thought. I had studied Emmett Fox, The Course in Miracles and was a card-carrying member of the Self-Realization Fellowship .
A Higher Power And Our Spiritual Awakening
The three must be addressed to find healing, recovery, and to live life sober. As overwhelming as I’m sure this all may seem for someone who’s either never had a spiritual connection, or been disconnected for years, I’d like to assure you it’s not as formidable as it may seem. But first, it’s crucial that you understand the difference between a spiritual experience and a religious one. While I could go on forever on the differences between these two ideas, I’ll keep it as simple as possible. If you are seeking drug and alcohol related addiction rehab for yourself or a loved one, the YourFirstStep.org hotline is a confidential and convenient solution.
Either way, if he could perhaps of had the ability to say this is how exactly I am feeling he could have acted on this emotional information rather than reacted to it. Most of my distress and emotional pain in recovery comes from wanting stuff, and not getting my way or not accepting things as they are.
For many folks, including myself, ‘the spiritual’ aspects of recovery can be a challenge. We tend to show up with a truckload of old ideas in this area and a lot of us consider ourselves to be atheists. He used to own a successful construction company that he lost due to addiction. He spent my whole life running from being an Indian now He spend a good part of my life seeking out the culture and his heritage. Do good from a spirit of service, not from a desire for personal glory, Pope Francis said on Sunday.
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The more we focus less on ourselves we allow a god of our understanding to enter our minds and work in our lives. I would suggest in relation to the issue of co-morbidities that one try to deal with these alcoholism related issues and then see if there are any other to deal with afterwards. For me, as someone who has been treated for anxiety and depression prior to recovery the 12 steps appear to have treated these as emotional consequences of my underlying condition of emotion dysregulation which I call alcoholism. In other words it is the consequence of my fear based condition, this affective disorder. These emotion processing deficits also appear to make us more impulsive, and to choose lesser short term gain over greater long term gain in decision making. It can lead to a distress feeling state that can make us fear based, perfectionist, have catastrophic thoughts, intolerance of uncertainty, low frustration and distress tolerance, be reactionary, moody, and immature in our emotional responding.
The years of recovery reveal many different things, some of them not so palatable. Anger responses are modeled and learned in some families. The anger response is more comfortable than feeling the shame for some individuals. Families where coercive and humiliating methods of discipline are used develop children who are shame prone.
So long as we make an active effort to address our spiritual malady every day, we will find relief from it, one day at a time. Many people who are in need of recovery resist it knowing that the solution is spiritual. The desire to avoid connection with the spiritual aspects of the self are embedded in the nature of addiction. The avoidance of spirituality keeps the addict in addiction long after the desire to return to whole and healthy living is sparked.
Sometimes the shame persists for some time and I try to relieve it by behavioral addictions, too much shopping, too much eating, too much objectification of the opposite sex. If someone hurts me, according to my step 4, my angry resentment of what they have said or done makes me ashamed.