Spirituality and Addiction

Spirituality and Addiction

Our addictions can be all-consuming and all-encompassing, taking over our lives and impairing our sense of self, impacting the ways in which we self-identify, and changing how we view ourselves. Our struggles with addiction can cause us to feel separated from the rest of the world, from the people we deem healthy and “normal.” We can feel isolated, whether because we are shunned and ostracized or because we’re isolating ourselves. We feel alone, defeated and hopeless. We are grieving the loss of our former lives and our connection to our inner selves. We grieve the people we’ve lost to addiction. We grieve the relationships that couldn’t withstand the pressures our addictions placed on them. In our grief, we often lose our feelings of connectedness to our spirits and to our higher power.

When we don’t feel connected to our higher power, we also feel disconnected from our inner strength, our power, and our intuition, all things that are reflections of our spirits, the manifestation of our higher power within us. We can forget that we are spiritual creatures, that we are beings of light and love. We forget our joy. We lose the strength and resilience that come from our spiritual connectedness. When we have faith in ourselves and our higher power, we feel like there’s nothing we can’t do, no illness we can’t heal. Disconnecting from our higher power, therefore, makes us feel as though we’re incapable of recovering from our addictions. We feel powerless over them. We feel driven by unhealthy, destructive urges. We feel consumed by toxic, corruptive temptations. We can feel like we’re being forced against our will, by unseen forces of evil, to self-destruct and harm ourselves. We feel deeply sad and ashamed of our choices. We feel embarrassed about our behaviors. We lose our faith in ourselves. We lose faith in our ability to do the right thing. We stop believing that we’re capable of doing what’s best for ourselves, of making choices we’re happy with. We become convinced that this is how our lives will always be, full of unhealthy decisions and self-defeating patterns. In this place of sadness and hopelessness, we feel defeated, disheartened and lost. We feel heartbroken. We feel we’ve given up on ourselves. We don’t feel that we are aligned with our spirits. Our thoughts, emotions, behaviors and choices are all misaligned from our inner light and from the truth of who we are.

When we’re in this place of spiritual disconnection, we not only feel that we’ve given up on ourselves, we can also feel as though our higher power has given up on us. We lose the connection to our higher power that made us feel loved, supported and nurtured. We once felt guided by divine love, now we just feel lost and alone. Sometimes we transfer the anger we feel about our addictions, and the anger we feel towards ourselves, onto our higher power. We can develop intense resentment, bitterness and spite towards our higher power. We can feel as though it has abandoned us and turned its back on us. We no longer view it as a benevolent force of good in our lives, but as an unforgiving power that is condemning us, that refuses to love and accept us. In our shame, we feel as though we don’t deserve forgiveness, and we can also feel as though our higher power is abandoning us by refusing to forgive us.

At the root of our anger are often intense sadness and fear. We’re deeply sad at how our lives have turned out. We’re disappointed that we haven’t lived up to our potential. We feel that we’ve let ourselves and our loved ones down. We feel we haven’t fulfilled our purpose or followed the divine path intended for our lives. We feel empty and unfulfilled. Where we once felt connected to our higher power and aligned with this path, now we feel misguided and disconnected. We feel like we’re facing insurmountable odds, no longer supported and upheld by the love of our higher power. We’re afraid we’ll drown in the pain of our addictions. We’re afraid we’ll never redeem ourselves. We fear that we’ll only continue to disappoint the people who believed in us. We fear that we’ll lose the love of our families and friends. We feel isolated, detached and disconnected from our loved ones, and we fear we might lose them altogether.

For many of us, spiritual healing is one of the most important elements of our recovery. We feel that without healing ourselves spiritually, we will never be able to heal mentally, emotionally or physically. All of the work we do will be in vain, because at our core, within our spirits, we are still detached, misaligned and disconnected, from our inner selves, from our higher power, and from our truth. We feel any recovery work we do will be incomplete without spiritual healing.

How can we heal ourselves spiritually? We can start by changing our perception of ourselves and our higher power, softening it and re-instilling the love that was once there. We can work to have forgiveness, compassion and understanding for ourselves. Rather than judging and condemning ourselves, we can see just how debilitating our addictions are and choose to have more empathy for ourselves and our suffering. We can surround ourselves with love and acceptance rather than rejection and cruelty. We can rekindle our connection with our higher power by returning to our spiritual practice, something many of us have been neglecting due to our addictions. We can use prayer, attend church and engage in religious study, refamiliarizing ourselves with the religion that we once felt supported and divinely guided by. We can use meditation, yoga, energy healing, crystals, and other spiritual tools for self-healing. We can create altars or other places of worship for ourselves, beautiful spaces where we can reignite our spiritual connection. We can use music, writing, art and other forms of creative expression to reconnect with our spirits. We can give time and energy to going inwards, connecting with our inner selves, and with our higher power.

For many of us, our spirituality and our addictions are interrelated and inextricably linked. Healing ourselves spiritually enables and empowers us to heal all of the other interconnected parts of us. Our spirit resides in every part of us, our minds, our hearts, our souls, and our bodies. For many of us, a full, complete, thorough recovery requires also healing our spirits.

At The Beach House, our mission is to provide the resources and environments that help people recover from their addiction and stay on the path of sobriety. Call or Text (310) 564-2761 today for more information.

Kimberly James

I am the founder and owner of The Beach House Treatment Center, The White House, Indigo Ranch, Sweetwater Mesa and Beach House Center for Wellness, all in Malibu, California.