I was writing a thesis on addiction and spirituality, or more accurately described as a half thesis/half brainstorm on how spiritual awakenings aid in recovery, and what the connection is in recovery and spirituality. The main point of interest is how spirituality offers the restoration of things lost in addiction, as most of the changes that occur are strong tenants of many types of spirituality and religious belief. Relationships, hope, time, community, happiness, conviction and belief are all major components of most religions. All of which are robbed of you in most cases, and all of which are necessary for recovery. From the enriched environment and community that alters the regulation of FOSB like proteins which is related to addiction, to the belief that your recovery is possible, and to alter your perception so that something bigger in your life takes priority over your substance use.
It is true that a thought and belief of your own success is required in order to accomplish any personal task to change yourself or accomplish goals you set out to conquer.
For those that cannot regain the mental courage to tell themselves they are strong, the belief in an all powerful entity, such as Christ, whom the popular quote in the bible references, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." The single conviction from this religion produces the belief necessary to achieve goals through a veil of a god, which is nothing more than your unconscious mind in action. The reassurance of such power gives placebo strength and power not through pride, but humility. If you attend an AA meeting, most of the successful and helpful old timers who have been sober for ages all have a sense of humility when they pray.
They pray not for god to act for them, but that god grants them the aid required so that they can help themselves. Instead of praying for the sick to achieve peace, some of them pray for god to grant them the knowledge so that they may help this sick person attain peace. Then this person proceeds to aid in the well being of the sick, through the method of autosuggestion utilized through prayer which is no different than an act of meditation.
Despite the prayer being made to God, the prayer utilizes the first person, (which is important for autosuggestion to work) and transitions to a new-found belief that through god they can help themselves.
using the same example with meditation sans deity(same principles, not through prayer), practicing a type of metta meditation that activates the part of the brain responsible for compassion and other friendly emotions, focusing and repeating that you may be well and that others may be well influences your behavioral patterns. This can result in causally affecting others moods through your modified behavior.
All the things you are robbed of from addiction, besides your spiritual strength itself, are tied to a lot of the core "positives" from religious beliefs. Such as hope, happiness, conviction/belief which are all prerequisites to success. Take belief for example, if you dont believe you can recover, the belief in an all powerful deity allows your unconscious mind to accept the fact that you can quit, opening the door for your addition free spiritual awakening. Its really as simple as having some faith in yourself, but faith in God works too for this purpose. Im trying to be as unbiased as I can to aid in both sides, as well as religious people who feel their spirituality is not strong enough alone, and maybe want to understand how spirituality affects recovery so that they can progress in their own goals.
The same result can be achieved through autosuggestion, believing your mind is powerful and you can succeed is my form of spirituality. I call it spirituality, because it serves the same purpose and function in my addictions as someones higher power they submit to, which happens to also be the deity of their religion
As Isaac Asimov once said "difficulties vanish when faced boldly."
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