According to a recent Gallup poll, almost nine out of ten Americans believe in God or a “universal spirit.” Alcoholics Anonymous uses the term “higher power.”
As a Christian, I have a world view that includes a compassionate and gracious God who loves me. Because of this worldview, I believe there is a spiritual side to addiction recovery.
I have value and worth. For some people, an addiction begins as running away from a feeling of worthlessness. The actions of addiction can numb that terrible “truth” of worthlessness in a way real life cannot. For others, addiction erodes existing feelings of value and worth. The result can be the loss of personal value and worth, either because they weren’t there in the first place or because the addiction ate them alive.
A healthy attitude that needs to be discovered or reinstated is an understanding that you have value and worth. If you don’t believe that, I’m not sure where the motivation for continued recovery is going to come from. Every human being is born with value and worth, which, according to my world view, is a gift from God. That gift is yours, whether or not you believe it.
Addiction does not want you to believe it. It wants to be the ultimate power in your life. Whatever your worldview includes—be it God or a universal spirit or a higher power—belief in something outside of yourself and more powerful than your addiction is vital to recovery. When addiction seeks to condemn you, that power can speak up for you.
When your belief in your own value and worth has been restored and supported, you are motivated and encouraged outside of yourself to live your life in that reality. You cannot change the way you lived in the past, but you can determine how you live your life going forward and with what set of attitudes. If addiction has stripped you of your sense of value and worth, isn’t it time for you to claim them?
Do you find yourself in the 10 percent of those who don’t believe in God or just aren’t sure? Do you find yourself in the 90 percent who believe in God but aren’t sure how that belief can assist in your recovery? In either circumstance, I encourage you to seek spiritual counsel.
At The Center • A Place of HOPE, our mental health professionals understand the power of a spiritual perspective in recovery. Since our founding, we have incorporated emotional, relational, physical, and spiritual concepts into our whole-person care.
We work with people to explore the role of spirituality in recovery and have trained pastoral counselors who are able to assist people navigating the spiritual challenges of value, worth, and purpose in life.
If you are struggling with forgiveness and anger, The Center • A Place of HOPE is here to help. Our team is skilled at navigating these sensitive issues. For more information, fill out this form or call 1-888-747-5592 to speak confidentially with a specialist today.
 Frank Newport, “Most Americans Still Believe in God,” Gallup News, June 29, 2016, http://news.gallup.com/poll/193271/americans-believe-god.aspx.