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A Spiritual Recovery

by James Heller 11. September 2009 14:41
Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles is participating in Recovery Month 2009, in part, with articles about recovery during the month of September.  Most individuals suffering from alcoholism and drug addiction begin their recovery with alcohol and drug treatment.  So it is our pleasure to help bring awareness to the general public about the benefits of recovery to individuals, their families, and everyone with whom they interact.

Recovery from alcoholism or drug addiction does not require religion for success.  But most 12 Step programs suggest a belief in a “power greater than ourselves to restore us to sanity”, so it may sound like it to some.  This statement in Step 2 has been known to drive devout atheists and religious fundamentalists away, but it shouldn’t.

Alcohol dependence and drug addiction, by their very nature, are diseases that create strong beliefs in sufferers.  These beliefs arise or are strengthened as a way to justify behavior.  In early recovery it is likely that any challenge to some of these beliefs will be met with resistance.  When this is the case, a little open-mindedness can go a long way.

A lot of the confusion that goes with early recovery comes from the shattering of many long-held beliefs in individuals.  They will hold on tight to beliefs relating to religion or a lack thereof.  Somehow the resistance to change makes them feel safe.  This can stand in the way of growth.  But letting go in recovery brings a sense of freedom and willingness to move on.

Here is a good place to start:
You don’t need to believe in God to begin growing in recovery.  The important thing is to know that you are not God.  You have no control over anything outside of the body in which you reside.  Take suggestions from those with long-term recovery and see if they work.  The odds are that they will work, and you will begin to experience growth.  This is known as willingness and open-mindedness.

For the atheist, nobody is telling you that you are wrong.  You are only being asked to try something that works for others.  When prayer is suggested, simply clear your mind and try it.  At worst, your mind will be better prepared, through meditation, for the day to come.

For the deeply religious, nobody is telling you that you are wrong.  You are only being asked to be open-minded to the beliefs of others, and let them grow at their own pace.  You have the opportunity to gain greater faith in the higher power that you already believe in.

Chapter 4, We Agnostics, in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous goes into detail about the struggles that some face with spirituality in recovery.  An excerpt is below, followed by a link to the entire chapter.  If you fit the profiles in this article, this chapter can answer a lot of questions.

-- Begin external content –

Lack of power, that was our dilemma. We had to find a power by which we could live, and it had to be a Power greater than ourselves.  Obviously.  But where and how were we to find this Power?

-- Source: http://www.aa.org/bigbookonline/en_bigbook_chapt4.pdf --

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides alcohol and drug treatment that includes introduction to the 12 Step programs.  Our Native American alcohol and drug treatment track includes traditional spiritual activities.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol or drugs, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.