Learn What Spiritual Malady Is And The Role It Plays In Your Recovery

When I was doing my step four inventory as part of my 12 step programme of recovery  I did it pretty much as suggested in the Big Book. I had an argument with a guy once who suddenly proclaimed he was upset by what I had said. I was amazed as this guy was reading his emotions, identifying verbalising/expressing them to me in a way I have never been able to do.

This allows me to do a quick inventory of my negative emotions and a prayer to God to have them removed. My experience is that they are always removed and that we are immediately restored to sanity. It’s also important to remember that your understanding of a Higher Power can change and evolve over time. As you grow in your sobriety and learn more about yourself, you may find that your concept of a Higher Power changes as well.

The Alcoholics Guide to Alcoholism

A spiritual malady is a deep-seated inner conflict that leads to restlessness, irritability, and discontentment. It is a sense of “otherness” that keeps us from feeling at peace with ourselves and the world around us. The thoughts we have as alcoholics are often insidious in such a way that we can’t tell what is true or false. The AA Big Book talks about this delusion we develop in active addiction.

  • I did not realise that the engine driving this emotion dysregulation was chronic shame.
  • Finding a Higher Power is an essential part of Alcoholics Anonymous, but what if you don’t believe in God?
  • In fact, they may tense up when they hear words like “God” and “spirituality.” This reaction may cause them to remember a past negative experience – an episode in their life that may cause them to recall a traumatic event they’d sooner rather forget.
  • These defects are related to me being an alcoholic, they are intrinsic to my condition.

I believe we can unwittingly complicate our treatment of alcoholism by believing we have (and treating) other conditions we see as distinct from alcoholism but which are in fact part of this condition called alcoholism. If we start by trying to recover from alcoholism and addiction and find we still have https://trading-market.org/top-10-best-sober-living-homes-in-boston-ma-2/ other issues then obviously address these with outside professional and specialist help. The list of emotional difficulties continues throughout the Big book’s first 164 pages. I do not believe I have the same spiritual malady as other normal people such as those people who were in the Oxford Group.

The Missing Piece: The Spiritual Malady

These are all parts of my emotionally entangled web that is spun when I react to some sense of rejection. However, there seems to be a problem specifically with a patterned mesh of negative emotions which are activated when someone upsets me. My emotions became wedded in time to being undifferentiated arousal states that prompted me to seek an external way to deal with these troubling emotional/arousal states.

aa spiritual malady

I am just an agnostic member of AA who believes in the program of recovery. At times, I express my personal opinions about issues that have directly affected my journey. However, in keeping with the 10th tradition of AA, the opinions I express in the book do not necessarily reflect the beliefs or positions held by AA as a whole.

The Spiritual Malady of Addiction: What Is It Exactly?

When not treating the spiritual aspect of the disease those behaviors are the types of things that will start to make life unmanageable once again. If we do not get spiritually connected with meditation or prayer with a power greater than us it will bring us closer and closer to that drink or drug. In sobriety, if we are self-reliant we usually end up using anything that will make us feel good externally excessively. Especially being alcoholic more often than not, it is our nature to have that “my way or the highway” mentality.

When I am in fear and shame the same pattern of negative reactions entrap my heart in its’ poisonous grip and I react in a way I would not choose to, if more reasonable. I am not only fearful (leading to dishonesty in my thinking, Allergic to Alcohol? 10 Common Symptoms of Alcohol Intolerance catastrophizing, intolerance of uncertainty about how they will behave etc) I have reacted to their arrival via shame based defence mechanisms and reactions. I am shamed and disgusted that my neighourhood has come to this.

Final Thoughts on Living the Spiritual Life and Recovery

However in order to treat it we have to first contend with the symptomatic manifestation of this disorder, chronic alcohol use, as it is the most life threatening aspect of this disorder when we present our selves at AA. Here we have an abnormal reaction to alcohol and for some alcoholics a maladjustment to life. The magic of the the steps is that they seem to reveal  the patterns of behaviour that our actions have prompted over the course of our lives. It helps us see ourselves and our condition of alcoholism and how it effects us and others. By sin I mean negative emotions that cause distress to me and others.

  • It is the always wanting one more that makes my affective disorder that of addiction and not another disorder.
  • 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.
  • As addicts we can become so focused on the outward form our addiction takes – whether that booze, drugs, sex, overeating, etc. – that we overlook its deep roots at the core of our being.
  • This is why 12-step organizations believe it is not possible to conquer alcoholism using willpower alone.

The mature way to to access, identfiy and label how one is feeling and use this information to reasonably express how one is feeling. They are suppose the tell the fronts of our brains to find words for our feelings. Not to tell the bottom of our brains to fight back or run or freeze. Also we need to be aware what we project on to other alcoholics is the same thing as they project on to use and sometimes we project if back. I can manage my spiritual malady or emotional dysfunction, I have the tools to do so. Either way, if he could perhaps of had the ability to say this is how exactly I am feeling he could have acted on this emotional information rather than reacted to it.

The role of physical dependence and psychological addiction in alcoholism partly explain why those with alcohol use disorder are unable to moderate or discontinue use. To initiate a full and sustained recovery, it is also helpful to address the spiritual role of this disease. Today’s guide explores the spiritual malady meaning in the context of 12-step recovery groups like AA (Alcoholics Anonymous). According to AA, spiritual malady is often fueled by resentments and renders life unmanageable.

aa spiritual malady

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