Content Reviewed by Cameron Bolish, M.Ed., CEO of PaRC
Addiction is much more than a loss of control regarding substance use. Addiction often brings about uncomfortable feelings of disconnection, isolation, guilt and shame. In order for recovery to be successful, it is important that treatment teaches individuals how to navigate through such feelings.
People that are new to addiction recovery often wonder what spirituality is and why it is an important component of many recovery programs. Spirituality offers unique and valuable tools to help individuals regain control over their lives while they manage their sobriety. It allows those in recovery to find a purpose for their struggles and find a deeper connection to their life experience.
What Is Spirituality?
Spirituality is a concept that allows people to find deeper meaning and purpose for their life experiences. Some people grow up being spiritual, while others find spirituality when they learn how to navigate feelings of grief, depression or other struggles.
Some people assume that spirituality and religion are the same thing. Although both concepts are beneficial, as they help people connect to a higher meaning or purpose, religion has more set guidelines about what a person is meant to believe or how they are supposed to practice their beliefs.
Compared to religion, spirituality is a much broader concept. Spirituality has many facets and can manifest itself in several ways, including:
- Increased self-awareness
- Increased compassion
- Increased gratitude
- The search for deeper meaning or purpose
- Cultivation of inner peace
- Deeper connection with others
- Exploration of personal beliefs, morals and values
- Connection to a higher power
What is special about spirituality is that every person will experience their version of it differently. Each person will experience the factors that play into spirituality in different ways.
Spirituality offers an invaluable opportunity for those in recovery to process and work through any obstacles that would keep them from sustaining long-term recovery. It is about what speaks to you personally, paving a path for you to connect with a force greater than yourself.
The Benefits of Spirituality in Recovery
In 12-Step recovery programs, the first step involves admitting powerlessness over addiction. In other words, this means admitting a loss of control over substance use.
Whether or not a treatment program utilizes a 12-Step lens, admitting a loss of control is the very first step toward overcoming addiction. Spirituality helps people to accept this choice to surrender their control.
Spirituality also promotes increased mindfulness and awareness, which directly promote responsibility and accountability. The more a person devotes themself to experiencing a deeper connection with their life experience, the more they are willing to restore their personal power and sense of self-control in their lives. While admitting a loss of control is essential during those initial stages of recovery, it is crucial to build back self-control to maintain sobriety, especially when introduced to new triggers outside of treatment.
Other benefits of spirituality in recovery include helping an individual:
- Find a sense of belonging. The vast world can limit your ability to feel important and deserving. Spirituality helps you connect with what fits and makes the most sense to you. Consider joining a spirituality recovery group to help you connect with others who feel the same way about the energy of the world around you.
- Have increased compassion and humility. With spirituality, you recognize that making mistakes is a part of life. Without mistakes, there is no motivation or drive to be better or grow. In recovery, it is essential to increase your ability to have compassion for others and especially for yourself.
- Practice mindfulness. Addiction and mental illness can easily take you away from the present moment, whether it’s ruminating on the past or experiencing fear for the future. Mindfulness allows you to be fully present.
- Find purpose. Spirituality in recovery helps people find purposeful reasons for why they deserve to experience a life free from addiction. Spirituality becomes a motivator to stay clean while promoting healthier and more positive actions in daily life.
- Practice gratitude. Gratitude is something that all of us can bring more of into our lives. Addiction limits a person’s ability to be grateful for the things and people they have in their life. In recovery, it is crucial to find new ways to intentionally appreciate the world around you. Spirituality does just that.
- Realize that your journey is yours. As mentioned earlier, spirituality is a subjective experience. It teaches you that no two life journeys look the same. Similarly, no two recovery journeys will look the same. Spirituality encourages people to focus on the one life they have with all they’ve got.
PaRC (Prevention and Recovery Center) is a drug and alcohol treatment center that offers several levels of care for anyone looking to overcome the crippling effects of addiction. No matter where you are in your recovery journey, our interventions will help you to strengthen your spiritual self. For more information about PaRC and our individualized treatment options, give us a call today at (713) 939-7272.