The way humans think is on a spectrum of self-centeredness and god-centeredness. When dealing with the disease of alcoholism we are selfish and self-centered beings. We use everything and everyone, even when we stop using alcohol and drugs to cope with these feelings of being unsatisfied and uncomfortable in life. The more we focus less on ourselves we allow a god of our understanding to enter our minds and work in our lives. Anyone can be spiritually maladapted, but as an alcoholic, we use alcohol to deal with having a spiritual malady.

As we learned above, complex grief is caused by a variety of reasons, including previous unresolved trauma. But trauma is not just emotional or psychological – it’s also spiritual. In fact, in my perspective, all trauma, deep down, at a core primordial level, A Timeline for the Restoration of Cognitive Abilities after Quitting Alcohol is spiritual. But if you can relate to most of these signs and struggle to function in life, I strongly recommend reaching out to a trained psychotherapist or psychiatrist. Admitting that you need help is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength.

The spiritual malady and addiction

In fact, sometimes it’s a wiser choice to reach out to those who are intimately acquainted with grief and can adequately hold space for you. If you have a complicated relationship with those in your life, you might feel unsafe with them, which may be preventing you from reaching out. So the key here is to find a person or group of people in which you feel safe around. Feeling safe enough to open up is a crucial part of grief work. Does screaming into/punching a pillow, crying, laughing, or doing intense and intentional exercise appeal to you? Perhaps you feel driven to roll around howling and clawing at the ground.

spiritual malady

Thankfully, the “spiritual malady” is no longer a “missing piece” of Step One for me. This spiritual malady, or spiritual disconnection, is the driving force behind our addiction and self-destructive behaviors. Without addressing this spiritual malady, we have absolutely no hope for intrinsic change or recovery. 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.

Thoughts of Recovery – No.17 – The Spiritual Malady – Step 1

You’re not alone – there are plenty of people in AA who don’t believe in God, or who have trouble with the concept of a higher power. Without a connection to a higher power, it can get quite ugly in sobriety. Spiritually, we have a difficult time connecting to a higher power.

  • One of the core characteristics that makes people vulnerable to addiction (and is also amplified as a consequence of active addiction) is a sense of internal emptiness—a pervasive feeling of being hollow, empty, of something missing.
  • If you are struggling with alcoholism or any other addiction, it is important to seek help from AA or another 12-step program.
  • Alcoholics Anonymous bases the 12-step program on 12 affirmations, or what they call 12 traditions.
  • Exposing abuse under the guise of BDSM & related reflections on self-recovery.
  • What that means is that all that is required is the belief in a power greater than yourself.
  • Religious parents may not pay sufficient attention to signs of scrupulosity in their children because they are occupied in taking pleasure in their child’s religiosity.

It’s really not my mind — the mental obsession — that is the underlying root of what will take me back to drinking. It’s the “spiritual malady”, as manifested by my EGO (selfishness-self-centeredness), that can eventually lead me back to drinking or sometimes even suicide. Thankfully, the “spiritual malady” is no longer a “missing piece”  of Step One for me. It is a reality of my powerlessness and unmanageability and enables me to see why I so desperately need to seek a Power Greater than myself. And unless this malady is recognized, and a course of action (the Twelve Steps) is taken to enable God to remove it, the root of our alcoholic illness can lie dormant and burn us when we least expect it.

Evolving Spiritually

If you’re struggling with the concept of God, try to find a sponsor who shares your views. That way, they’ll be able to relate to your experience and offer advice from a place of understanding. For example, AA rooms offer fellowship and support and provide a structure that can help keep you sober. These are all positive things that can help you on your journey to recovery, regardless of your beliefs.

Finally, self-reliance can be dangerous because it can lead to complacency. When people become too self-reliant, they may stop working on their program entirely. This complacency can then lead to a sense of entitlement which is extremely dangerous for people in recovery.

The Full Spectrum of Spirituality

Strength and the ability to overcome anything that life throws at you is your Divine right. You have a place inside of you that is imperishable, wise, and flowing with power. Please trust this and know that if you tap into your inner Warrior, you will be able to handle anything that comes your way. Complicated grief is what happens when a person, after experiencing a major loss, struggles to move through the natural cycle of grief and instead becomes trapped in their pain and devastation.