As I look back to those days when alcohol worked its magic, I can see how it was my go-to stress reliever. I didn’t look within for the source of my stress. That would have violated my personal creed: Only the unexamined life is worth living. All I knew was alcohol rounded the edges of my stress and allowed me to stuff it away. What I failed to understand was this avoidance pattern only intensified my stress and anxiety. What I resisted persisted. So the cycle would begin again after the next day of work. On and on. Finally, I couldn’t drink enough to silence the strident voices of my stress.
When most people talk about seeking spirituality, they are talking about becoming more spiritual or seeking practices that increase their spirituality. My quest is much more basic than that. I am wondering: What does spirituality mean? What is the definition of spirituality?
Throughout the history of music, even recently with the deaths of Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell, there’s developed a pattern within our entertainment culture. A pattern made up of artists, their demons, and the perpetual narrative of substance abuse. It’s been apparent for years that we glamorized musicians’ partying nature with the notable slogan “sex, drugs, and rock and roll.” This mantra itself has become a direct example of how prevalent the drug culture is in relation to musicians and their art. Many artists’ stories have ended tragically, with their demons on display for the whole world to see; their histories, struggles, and depictions of abuse publicized because it’s shocking, and an easy narrative to tell. But similar tales don’t always have to end in tragedy.
The New Thought Sobriety blog focuses on sobriety and spirituality. That being said, none of us can ignore the physical consequences of alcohol abuse, or, on the bright side, the physical rewards of sobriety. Today’s article, curated from The Lakehouse, discusses four ways in which our bodies benefit in recovery . . . Alcohol takes a toll on the body and the brain in many ways. Once you finally quit drinking, the body has a chance to heal and bounces back in some incredible ways.
A lot of adults in many cultures in this world have not gone for any extended period of time without alcohol since their teenage years and for many this is a happy crutch, able to control with ease and drink for pleasure. For others who are heavy drinkers or binge drinkers, unhealthy amounts are consumed in short periods of time but stopped to resume daily life and business until the next drinking session begins. There are alcoholics who have no off button when it comes to drinking and often end up in complete oblivion or black out on a regular basis, people that have lost control over their drinking. Unless, like me, who has complete abstinence from alcohol, chances are every person falls into one of those categories.
As you may know, the “idea” of New Thought Sobriety was inspired by the beautiful blending of two teachings: Metaphysical spirituality and twelve-step recovery. If you are an adherent of both, you know what a gift this fusion is. We spoke to someone recently who couldn’t quite see the compatibility between the two. His rationale went something like this: 1. Many people come to New Thought on the road to self-improvement. 2. Many people come to AA out of desperation or by court order. 3. These are two completely different mindsets. Would it have sounded judgmental to say his claim was a gross generalization? It probably would have, so we didn’t come right out and say it. Instead, we went looking for other people’s opinions on the matter because, well, we do love us some research!
Perhaps one of the greatest challenges people face when committing to a 12-step program is the “God part.” It is often the case that we feel let down or forgotten by God, or that God has somehow favored others over us. The freedom to define a Higher Power for ourselves is liberating. As we are encouraged to align with a God of our understanding, we begin to see the light in a very real way. But what about atheists and agnostics? There are those who are perfectly comfortable not believing in God or questioning the existence of “a Power greater than ourselves.” And yes, they get sober, too…
Sometimes you forget just how important it is to have confidence in yourself until the moment you need it most. For many battling addiction, years of substance abuse has eroded all traces of self-assurance and makes recovery seem like an impossible goal. There comes a moment where the next step is either the sober path or deeper addiction — and you have to feel certain about your choice. We recently spoke to a few people in addiction recovery who explained that confidence isn’t just helpful in the process, but necessary. Here are a few of the insights they shared with us.