When you ask them to describe what they mean by that statement, they seem to have a firm grasp on the fact that we alcoholics suffer from “an allergy of the body and an obsession of the mind” — that once I put any alcohol in my system whatsoever it sets off a craving for more alcohol. Thankfully, the “spiritual malady” is no longer a “missing piece” of Step One for me. When you ask them to describe what they mean by that statement, they seem to have a firm grasp on the fact that we alcoholics suffer from “an allergy of the body and an obsession of the mind” — that once I put any alcohol in my system whatsoever it sets off a craving for more alcohol. Given the impact of spiritual struggle on PTSD symptoms, future research should investigate how religious and secular belief systems interact with spiritual struggle in response to trauma. For example, positive religious coping in the presence of struggle may moderate the impact of struggle on PTSD symptoms (e.g., Bjorck & Thurman, 2007), but in the absence of positive religious coping, may reflect a true absence of spiritual supports. Other cognitions that may predict spiritual struggle include pre-trauma self-appraisals (R. A. Bryant & Guthrie, 2007), attributional style (Gray et al., 2007), and coping self-efficacy beliefs (Benight & Bandura, 2004).
My last blog post took us back some 4 billion years to set a foundation for deconstructing illness and disease. My intention was to build on that foundation and talk further about the evolutionary molecular and cellular mechanisms that exist in us today and determine whether we are diseased and ill versus healthy and well. My trajectory was to move from physical to mental to social, and then to spiritual illness and disease. However, given the times we are in, I find myself compelled to vault forward to the spiritual. The alcoholic who evolves spiritually receives inner wisdom – an intuition and understanding – a noetic mindset that goes beyond the traditional five senses.
thoughts on “The Spiritual Malady”
Additionally, although the mean time between the index event and assessment of struggle and symptoms was four months, some participants may have experienced their event so recently that time was insufficient for the event to have observable effects (Maxwell & Cole, 2007). In this study, reports of trauma exposure had a small relationship with PTSD symptoms, a finding also reported in other college student samples (e.g., Frazier et al., 2009). Many people are initially turned off to the idea of the program because they believe it preaches religion and God, and many addicts and alcoholics have no desire to pursue a religious answer. But the beauty of the 12-steps is that they are spiritually based as opposed to religious. What that means is that all that is required is the belief in a power greater than yourself. There is no church you must attend or strict practices you must adhere to in organized worship of said higher power, it is a completely individual and personal experience.
It is simply to move people away from threat and towards safety. No amount of reason or rationalization with someone under threat, who is physiologically incapable of reason in that moment, will work. No amount of reason, rationalization, or punishment, will restore their sight. Giving a threatened person safety instead of reason, rationalization, or punishment, is the equivalent of giving a blind person sight. The threatened given safety will see, understand, connect, bond, and thrive.
Regardless of the name of the substance or vice, all bad habits stem from brokenness that is directly tied to the emotional energy spun out of a dark force called resentment. They were spawned eighty years ago among a bunch of awakened, God-conscious, ex-problem drinkers who discovered a way to recover from what they termed as spiritual disease, subsequently losing their obsession with alcohol. Acknowledge that you are scrupulous, that you frequently perform unusual rituals to “get right” with God, that you struggle to see moral truth clearly especially when it pertains to your own decision making. Acknowledging that you have a spiritual malady is the first step to overcoming it.
When I accepted that the ‘spiritual malady’ was about my beliefs, thoughts, and emotions, I came to see that many of my own beliefs and thoughts on this subject were contributing to my disease. I had many old ideas and prejudices that had to be examined and released. It is loaded with old ideas and religiosity, tainted by overuse, abuse, and centuries of bad press. It is sad that countless addicts and alcoholics have rejected 12 Step recovery because the G_d word is up on the wall and included in prayers and literature.