So many questions arise in recovery that are what I consider life questions. And life questions are often deeply spiritual. They deal with purpose and meaning, value and worth, failure and redemption. Having been rendered powerless by an addiction, people can have questions about things more powerful. As they seek to reconstruct their lives and reinforce their recoveries, they can look to find places to put these spiritual pieces.
As a Christian, I work with Christians, but I also work with people of different faiths and no faith. People may phrase these life questions differently, but I’ve rarely found someone who doesn’t ask them on some level. Addiction decimates hope and seeks to supplant faith in anything else. Once the power of the addiction is countered, the natural quest for meaning that finds its expression so often in spirituality is restored and these pieces become relevant again.
Recovery, then, is an intricate tapestry of many parts that mirror the complexity of the human condition. The person who comes to understand their brokenness cries out, “How can I put my life back together?” This question is often asked with shades of despair, but I choose to greet the question with optimism, hope, and joy. I am optimistic because even asking the question means the person desires a return to wholeness. I am hopeful because the question indicates a willingness to reject the lies of addiction and seek after the truth. I am joyful because I’ve seen what’s happened to far too many people who refused to even ask the question.
If I could sit down face-to-face with someone struggling with addiction, there are two things I would want them to know: they are a valuable person, and there is a plan and purpose for their life. Whether they believe in God, or a universal spirit, or a higher power, or are unsure of their faith. or have no faith at all, I would still try to convince them of those same two things, because I believe them with all my heart. I believe they can restore what addiction has taken away.
Authored by Dr. Gregory Jantz, founder of The Center • A Place of HOPE and author of 39 books. Pioneering whole-person care nearly 30 years ago, Dr. Jantz has dedicated his life’s work to creating possibilities for others, and helping people change their lives for good. The Center • A Place of HOPE, located on the Puget Sound in Edmonds, Washington, creates individualized programs to treat behavioral and mental health issues, including eating disorders, addiction, depression, anxiety and others.