Posted by Steps to Recovery on December 13, 2012

Many people who are struggling with alcohol dependency and drug addiction often describe a feeling of being lost or having no purpose. They talk about needing to drink just to feel something, to be closer to people or to ignore their own feelings. This is very similar to the experience some people describe as how they feel when they have lost their connection with their spirituality. The major symptoms associated with a loss of spirituality can be feeling lost, confusion, empty or even out of control. When a person is spiritually connected, they often do not feel the same desire to drink alcohol or use drugs.

Spirituality can be defined as the concept of an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality; an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being; or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live. These beliefs are varied and may include the presence of a divine being, a higher power or other spiritual beings. For some it may mean having deep connection with nature and therefore the spirit of the universe. Spirituality plays an important role in guiding people and bringing inner peace, self awareness and a purpose in life.

A lot of people consider spirituality and religion to be the same thing. This is not the case. Many people who identify with a particular religion may not have a sense of spirituality. They may not necessarily follow the rules or guidelines that the religion specifies. When a person has a sense of spirituality, they can be less selfish, experience inner peace and become more altruistic. A person with this sense of spirituality often does not need to use alcohol or other drugs to feel in control of their lives, or even to feel in general.

When a person is in touch with spirituality, they often do not feel the same desire to drink alcohol or use drugs. Research has found that spirituality plays an important role in helping a person on the road to recovery from addiction. Some treatments already include spirituality in the therapy process, such as Alcoholics Anonymous. Spirituality helps people to develop a sense of meaning in life. It helps people realize their deeper purpose. This sense of purpose can influence the choices a person makes, the responsibilities they take on, and the determination to succeed in recovery and life in general.

Treating addiction can be a long, hard process that will present many obstacles to overcome. Having a spiritual connection will help bring focus to a person’s new direction in life, which can help not just the individual but friends, families and the greater community. This is important in guiding a person back to a life without substances that is healthy and happy. Having a spiritual practice that is supportive of your beliefs is an essential part of the recovery process.

What do you do for a spiritual practice?