For many recovering addicts, the process of recovery and and achieving sobriety goes hand in hand with having a strong sense of spirituality. Developing a connection with a higher power is an integral part of most twelve step programs, and the second step itself makes reference to a higher Power and they way in which it can help restore recovering addicts to sanity.
Making the decision to regain control of one’s life is certainly one that requires resolve and a strong sense of self, both things that are much easier to attain when done in conjunction with some kind of spiritual or religious practice.
Religion and Strength
It is clear that working through recovery to achieve sobriety requires a tremendous amount of strength and personal resolve. Staying sober means facing constant obstacles in the form of triggers that may tempt a recovering addict to use.
Recovery is a life long process, and while avoiding drugs and alcohol may become more habitual the longer an addict is in recovery, impulses to use will simply always be a part of any addict’s life. For this reason, many addicts find strength and hope in their religious beliefs. Understanding that there is a Higher Power whose plan it is for an addict to succeed in remaining sober can help a recovering addict stay strong through even the most challenging moments of their sobriety.
Letting Go Of Control
Another integral part of recovery is letting go of the things that one does not have control of. Just as an addict must be very clear with himself about the ways in which he does have the power to change his life, he must also understand that part of living means coming across obstacles or challenges that are not in his control. While this thought may bring about a sense of anger or hopelessness to a person who does not have the support of religious beliefs, recovering addicts to recognize that a higher Power has a plan for themselves and those around them can feel less feelings of anger and despair, which helps them to remain focused on making the right decisions to stay safe and sober.
Many people in recovery find that working in the service of others is a wonderful way to continue growing as a person and to continue cultivating the qualities that can help them stay strong and committed to their sobriety. Helping others is a wonderful way to cultivate gratitude because it can draw attention to the things in one’s own life that they have to be grateful for. Serving others also has the effect of making one feel better about themselves.
Many studies have shown that there are few things that improve a person’s self image more substantially than doing something to help others. The higher a person’s self image is, the more likely they are to successfully avoid drugs and alcohol. Depression is one of the most formidable triggers to use, and depression is very closely correlated with having a low self image. Having a form of religion in one’s life helps a recovering addict commit more acts of service for a number of reasons.
Firstly, many religious groups organize service events that make it easy to find ways to give back to the community and to stay mindful of the importance of helping others. Many religions also stress the importance of committing acts of kindness and selflessness and can provide some powerful inspiration to recovering addicts as they continue their journey to improve as people and to find new ways of evolving and enjoying the life sobriety affords them.