We talk in recovery about alcohol and drug abuse being a symptom of a larger problem, rather than it being the problem itself. We talk in recovery about suffering from a spiritual malady. What is a spiritual malady? Albert Clayton Gaulden says in his book You Are Not Who You Think You Are that “all the things we do to get our own way, to come into compliance with a faulty Ego, are a separation-from-God problem”. This is the essence of what we are going to be talking about.
Those who suffer with addiction and those who do not alike experience this malady to some degree or another. Some of us abuse and become addicted to substances to cope with this malady while others engage in all sorts of self-soothing strategies such as co-dependency, over-eating, sexually acting out, overachieving, anger, isolation, anxiety, depression, etc. – the list could go on. These are all methods for us to obtain a false sense of control and/or safety within our lives. We as humans tend to seek solutions in the physical world for the problems, or feeling of lacking, that we experience on a spiritual level.
So at what point in our lives do we find we have become disconnected from Source and from ourselves? Some of us seem to be able to recognize specific points in time. Some of us can cite our overall childhood experiences as the reasons why we learned to cope maladaptively while others can point to particular traumatic experiences as fundamentally changing our outlooks and reactions to life. Some of us have no clear explanation.
What we talk about in recovery is the idea that we as humans suffer from fear. Some of us more severely than others. And it is fear that drives us drink and use, to react to our fellows and our circumstances poorly. Fear seems to have driven the way we thought and the way we behaved for a number of years. Sometimes this is born of trauma and heartache and sometimes certain fears seem to have been present for as long as we can remember.
Over the next several blog posts we are going to discuss different faucets of the human experience, where fear was born from, how we may have developed poor coping skills to compensate, and what to do about it now. We will discuss beginning to heal from childhood trauma, grief and loss, low self-esteem, resiliency and vulnerability, and the transformation of healing through taking back your power and practicing radical acceptance.