In Modern Terms, What is the Spiritual Malady of AA?

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The great psychiatrist Carl Jung called this a ‘low level thirst for wholeness – for union with God’. In our addictions, we tried to quench our soul-thirst with fleeting pleasures. The pursuit of them dominated our lives, destroyed relationships, and caused greater desperation than we ever thought possible. We became selfish and self-seeking, ever thirsting for more, and this lust warped us on every level. But we were never satisfied, because but the living presence of God can quench our parched souls.

when the spiritual malady is overcome

It really isn’t that difficult, and the beautiful thing about it is that it’s intensely personal and can be understood in any way you see fit. Just be open to the fact that besides being physically sick with addiction, you are also spiritually sick and as such, you need a spiritual solution to your problem. But such a transformation may be more accessible than it Sober House initially sounds. I didn’t get spiritually sick as a result of alcoholism, my spiritual sickness predated my alcoholism and contributed to me becoming an alcoholic because I believed alcohol to be the solution. The Dr opinion quoted above with regards to entirely normal people appears to suggest that these alcoholics do not have a spiritual sickness or malady.

Re: Doctors Opinion & the spiritual malady

These may work for some people, but they did not work for us. At Jaywalker Lodge, we can only in good conscience back and employ the process which we know to be successful. This is why we need a satisfactory definition of what alcoholism and addition is? Rather than describing these conditions in terms of the manifest symptoms, i.e chronic substance abuse or, at times, vague “spiritual maladies”. So we have issues with emotions and somatic/body feeling states.

The clamors of the world proved too much for the majority and they just couldn’t keep it up. Most abandoned the spiritual solution they had found in favor of religion and other dubious spiritual movements or philosophies. There is after all, a lot of God talk in those meetings and in their “Big Book,” Alcoholics Anonymous. God is the main feature of the 12-Step approach to substance abuse. And some of its member do have a culty reliance upon one another, rather than God.

Spirituality in Recovery Means Freedom

This is why we at Jaywalker Lodge prefer the spiritual approach of the 12-Step program as outlined in the book Alcoholics Anonymous. As best as we can tell, this method is crucial to helping alcoholics and addicts recover. Alcoholism and addiction is a disease, but not a typical one. The physical allergy, mental obsession, and spiritual malady will be with the sufferer all their life. In most cases we have seen, it is only the psychic change and spiritual experience that are sufficient to keep the sufferer in recovery, when the spiritual malady is overcome working the program, and staying recovered. The 12-Step program is not a temporary fix or a short-term solution. It is the solution, but it only works as long as the individual is willing to engage in it. The spiritual illness that we faced acted as a catalyst for our addiction, and every attempt to self-medicate our spiritual malady pushed us deeper and deeper into the disease. Most other treatment methods for alcoholism and addiction do not sufficiently address the three-fold nature of our deadly disease.

This first step is to recall the person and/or situation which is causing you to be upset, angry, hurt, or resentful. The event should be recalled in not just memory but also in how it made you feel. It’s important in this first step to really tune into the emotions felt. In these two steps, asking for forgiveness is the focus.

American Psychological Association published a study that supported what AA had said for so long. After evaluating 21 different studies on forgiveness, it was found that in 19 or 90% of those studies that forgiveness is meaningful and possibly essential in substance abuse treatment. It also noted that forgiveness of self was the most important. In fact, according to The Big Book authors, living with resentment is the number one problem for alcoholics and those with other addictions. Many experts in the field of recovery also talk about the human spirit and the need to mend it in order for people to heal. Indeed, eminent psychologist Carl Jung frequently spoke about the spirit or soul. It is emotionally healthy to be altruistic – to help others without question or expectation. It is emotionally healthy to accept yourself as you are. For me this maladjustment to life is not exactly the same as the spiritual disease mentioned in the Oxford Group pamphlet. Sins I believe are the poisoned fruit of fear, often helped along in alcoholics by false pride, shame and guilt.

How can I hear God’s voice?

  1. Come to God with your request for guidance.
  2. Wait in silence for God to speak for 10-12 minutes.
  3. Jot down any Scripture, songs, impressions, or pictures God gives you.
  4. Share how God spoke to you with your prayer partners and follow God's will.

Our alcoholic life is really the symptom of a spiritual malady. Addiction is a disease of the mind, body, and spirit. Anybody would be happy with the method that made them well, but that wouldn’t be enough reason to recommend it to everyone. Alcoholism and addiction are a complex disease, and in our experience both personal and professional, they are not addressed and treated anywhere more thoroughly than the 12-Step process. More straightforward facilities that focus on healthy coping mechanisms.

If it were as easy as not eating a peanut anymore, then you would have stopped long ago. We should be able to just put the plug in the jug and move on with our lives. They oversimplify our problem and solution and can send the wrong information. Though our decision was a vital and crucial step, it could have little permanent effect unless at once followed by a strenuous effort to face, and to be rid of, the things in ourselves which had been blocking us.

Keep in mind that this is separate from the physical craving. Even after someone is completely detoxed and has all alcohol or drugs removed from their body, they will still obsess about drinking or using. Selfishness and self -centeredness is the root of my trouble. My troubles are of my own making and arise out my when the spiritual malady is overcome living a life run on self-will. I must be God centered instead of self centered and God directed rather than self directed . The specific directions in the first 102 pages of the book Alcoholic Anonymous. The spiritual malady is the result of my being out of order with my higher power who I choose to call God.

Whether the work is done at an addiction treatment center or in a 12-Step program like AA, it can be painful. However, you gain a life free from addiction, shame, and guilt. A spiritual awakening is a term that’s often heard in recovery communities – mostly in recovery from addictions. But looking at someone’s spiritual condition is something that is increasingly being considered as part of recovery from many other mental health problems now. It simply means we are spiritually blocked off from the Power of God, which enables us to remain sober, happy, joyous, and free. When it comes to recovery from addiction to alcohol or drugs, forgiveness and letting go of resentments is of paramount importance, particularly for long-term sobriety. In fact, Alcoholics Anonymous, a 12-Step program and one of the longest enduring support groups for alcoholics, talks extensively about the damage of carrying resentments and the healing that comes from letting go and forgiving. These things were true to some extent, in fact, to a considerable extent with some of us. In other words it is the consequence of my fear based condition, this affective disorder. So if you find yourself getting caught up on the spiritual nature of recovery, don’t.

  • Anybody would be happy with the method that made them well, but that wouldn’t be enough reason to recommend it to everyone.
  • 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.
  • In other words it is the consequence of my fear based condition, this affective disorder.
  • American Psychological Association published a study that supported what AA had said for so long.

This is a Judea-Christian belief structure of bad versus good and I believe that I did not join AA to become good but well. AA may have started within the Oxford Group but has gradually moved away from their tenets. Many people are initially turned off to the idea of the program because they believe it preaches religion and God, and many addicts and alcoholics have no desire to pursue a religious answer. But the beauty of the 12-steps is that they are spiritually based as opposed to religious. What that means is that all that is required is the belief in a power greater than yourself. There is no church you must attend or strict practices you must adhere to in organized worship of said higher power, it is a completely individual and personal experience. The disease of alcohol and drug addiction is not just mental and physical but also spiritual. The spiritual malady, however, can be seen as an inward unmanageability. It affects every aspect of our lives and must be overcome if we wish to fix ourselves mentally and physically.

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. William James wrote the book The Variety of Religious Experiences in 1902 and it is a book that is actually talked about in the book Alcoholics Anonymous. In his book, James describes four qualities of a religious or spiritual experiences that are shared by most people who experience one. The spiritual malady of addiction is essentially the fact that at some point in the addict’s life, they managed to cut themselves off from existence and any notion of spirituality. This does not mean that they removed themselves from religion, although the two can be synonymous, but it simply means that within their soul or the core of their being, they suffer from a profound loneliness. The reason for this is because addiction is at its core a spiritual malady.

Eco Sober House

This one features a single, simple butterfly on the front and the Serenity Prayer on the back. This idea is insane because we have admitted that we are powerless over our thoughts, and our lives have become unmanageable because of it. We dont see the truth and only see what we think is the truth. Learn why honesty is a critical characteristic in sobriety and recovery. Finally, someone explained to me that those things are not the insanity that the Big Book talks about; nor are those things why the alcoholic’s life becomes unmanageable.

Sins to me are negative emotions such as self centredness, intolerance, impatience, self pity that impact on my well bing and the well being of others etc. Negative emotions that cut me off from sanity and reason. They do not necessarily come from a Judea-Christian belief structure, just from my own awareness, 12 step practice and years of Neursocience research. The “spiritual malady” of the Oxford group seems enhanced in me, I believe I sin more than normal people because of my emotional immaturity and reactivity. My “loss of control” over drinking is also linked to emotion processing difficulties as it prompted impulsive, uninhibited drinking. To conclude, it’s not my body — my allergic reaction to alcohol — that’s going to take me back to drinking. It’s really not my mind — the mental obsession — that is the underlying root of what will take me back to drinking.

when the spiritual malady is overcome

Many people who enter into recovery do not want to hear anything of spirituality. When they hear words like God or spirituality, they begin to bristle with antagonism as they remember the religion of their youth or the traumas they have faced. 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 wish to contact a specific medical detox center then find a specific treatment center using our addiction treatment locator tool. The practice of Christian Meditation offers a remedy to the spiritual malady. When we enter the silence with discipline and perseverance, we make space for the living presence of God to heal us from the inside out. MARR Addiction Treatment Centers specialize in treating individuals whose lives have been destroyed by addiction.

What are examples of resentments?

She bore bitter feelings of resentment toward her ex-husband. He's filled with resentment at his boss. He expressed his resentment of the new policies.

It is this notion that the fellowship of AA was founded upon, and how millions of recovered alcoholics equate their success in overcoming a seemingly hopeless situation. The only solution to a spiritual malady is a spiritual awakening. Only once we open the spiritual channels and begin to accept a Higher Power into our lives can we hope to find a solution to our alcoholic condition. 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. Of Alcoholics Anonymous, “we have been not only mentally and physically ill, we have been spiritually sick. When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically.” When men and women look inwardly, the spiritual component of the disease becomes apparent. As an alcoholic I have found I needed to grow up mentally and emotionally and I agree with the idea of emotional dysfunctionality which I believe is caused, probably, by past trauma or attachment issues. This means that I have hyper-sensitivity and can be over-reactive but I do not believe that I am in any way spiritually deficit.