The disease of alcohol and drug addiction is not just mental and physical but also spiritual. In the first step of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), we “admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.” We certainly have proof of the unmanageability of our lives from our past, our actions, and the mental and physical effects of those actions. 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.
At Oceanfront Recovery, our team of addiction treatment professionals understands how to approach alcohol addiction as the chronic disease it is. We offer extensive detox and therapies to help individuals address the physical aspects of the disease as well as the psychological and spiritual aspects.
Understanding What a Spiritual Malady Is
Many men and women in AA describe certain feelings they had before picking up a drink or drug. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous refers to the symptoms of the spiritual malady as “bedevilments,” explaining that “we were having trouble with personal relationships, we couldn’t control our emotional natures, we were prey to misery and depression, we couldn’t make a living, we had a feeling of uselessness, we were full of fear, we were unhappy, we couldn’t seem to be of real help to other people.” These feelings, often simplified as restlessness, irritability, and discontentment, led them toward substances to relieve their spiritual pain.
Many of us felt that there was something wrong with us or something missing—in short, we felt different from other people. We couldn’t understand why the people surrounding us could feel happiness or contentment, so we turned to drugs and alcohol as a means of self-medicating our perceived shortcomings. From our time spent feeding our addictions, we feel that the opposite begins to happen. Rather than providing a feeling of relief, we find ourselves in a perpetual “dark night of the soul,” cut off from any sense of spiritual comfort.
Frequently, individuals who struggle with alcohol addiction are also experiencing a mental health issue like an anxiety disorder or a depressive disorder. Abusing alcohol is a form of self-medicating that, at first and superficially, seems to help. However, it quickly becomes apparent that doing so is only masking the underlying issues. Similarly, those who struggle with alcohol addiction are more susceptible to developing a mental health issue. When this occurs, individuals are experiencing what experts refer to as a co-occurring disorder. It is treated through dual diagnosis, which looks to address both the physical addiction and mental health issues affecting the individual.
How 12 Step Programs Can Help
For many struggling with alcohol use disorder or alcohol addiction, the only way to overcome these feelings is to embark upon a spiritual program of action fearlessly. We have found that these problems no longer exist for us when we begin living by spiritual principles and improving our conscious contact with our higher power. We realize that we are not alone. There are many men and women who felt the same way and have been able to overcome the malady by maintaining spiritual fitness and practicing the principles of AA in all of their affairs. The 12-Steps focus on addressing and fixing the spiritual problems that led us into our addiction, and by doing so, we find that they allow us to positively change our mental and physical issues.
How Oceanfront Recovery Can Help
You can choose to change the story of your life. Oceanfront Recovery is a treatment center with a professional and compassionate staff of detoxification specialists dedicated to making the process as comfortable as possible. Some of our addiction treatment programs include:
- Residential Treatment Program
- Intensive Outpatient Program
- Men’s Rehab Program
- Women’s Rehab Program
- Sober Living Homes
- Aftercare Program
For more information about our drug and alcohol detox programs or other treatment options, please call (877) 296-7477.