Alcoholism, A Spiritual Sickness

spiritual journey buddhism
spiritual journey buddhism

Lately I've been thinking a lot about my spirituality. The concept of spirituality is new to me. I didn't grow up in any type of church or religion and most of the time I consider myself to be borderline atheist. I guess I always associate religion with God and those two things have caused so much fighting and heartache in the world, I never understood people's deep connection to it. Spirituality wasn't something I ever thought about in the past or even considered for myself. I assumed it wasn't for me.

After I became sober, I realized I was still searching for something, still trying to find myself. Something was missing, it still is. When I met my friend Shannon and she got me to go to meditation classes, I started reading and learning a lot about Buddhism and its teachings. The classes are actually discussions about practical ways to solve problems in your own life using Buddha's teachings. There is no talk of God or praying, just listening and learning, and some meditation. Meditation is new to me and so far I really like it. It's just the process of relaxing the mind and letting your stress and worries melt away. After attending AA the first few times, this also got me thinking about spirituality. As most of you know, AA believes that alcoholism is a disease of the mind, body, and spirit. How true that is. But what sticks with me the most is that alcoholism is a sickness of the spirit and I feel like this part is overwhelmingly true for me.

If alcoholism is indeed a sickness of the spirit, it's no surprise then that spiritual healing is necessary for recovery. As I learn and accept AA with an open mind, I am faced with understanding the concept of a higher power. I'm not to the point where I am willing to turn everything over to him/her/it/them, but I am definitely feeling more spiritual. I have always been fascinated with spirits, energy, tarot cards, and the connectedness of the Earth. I'm seeing that this may serve as a higher power in my life. Last Saturday I went to a psychic here in Cape Coral and got a tarot card reading. She told me many fascinating things, one of which was that deep down I am a very spiritual person, but I have never found the way to get in touch with my spirituality. She told me my spirit guides have been trying hard to get in touch with me. She said because I'm a water sign I should go to a large body of water at least twice a month and sit with a amethyst or quartz in my hand and breathe out the bad energy, and breathe in the good. I was stunned she could tell how spiritually confused I was and that I needed guidance. That session confirmed to me that I am now on the correct path to spirituality.

In my life prior to becoming sober, I assumed spirituality was stupid, that it was synonymous with religion, and that it wasn't for me. I used drugs and alcohol to hide from emotional and physical pain, and other types of trauma I endured during my life. These substances deadened my spirit. Joy, peace, and true connections with others were foreign to me. If my own spirit is what connects me to my higher power, the universe, spirit guides, energies, etc, I was unable to establish this connection previously. My quest is transitioning from spiritual insanity to spiritual freedom. Although I have been sober for a year and a half, I was still feeling lost, and what I've realized is being sober is the easy part. It takes courage and time to address an underlying spiritual issue. Much more effort is required to sort through my feelings, to restore inner peace, experience joy of living, and know serenity, and I believe this happens through a spiritual connection.