The Spiritual Malady: A Hole in the Soul

A Deep Look into the Spiritual Void

You’re probably wondering what a spiritual malady is. A spiritual malady is a disconnect or separation. Anyone can be spiritually maladapted, but as an alcoholic, we use alcohol to deal with having a spiritual malady. Many people say that alcoholics have a disease of the mind, body, and spirit.

Unlike normal people (whatever that means) alcoholics are unsettled to the core. After reading ‘The Doctor’s Opinion,’ ‘Bill’s Story,’ and ‘There is a Solution,’ in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous,  we came to an understanding that we have no control whatsoever over alcohol or drugs.

When we have the first sip of a drink, or whiff of a drug, it is then controlling our bodies. We react in such a way as to become insane. Once we indulge in the first drink, our judgment and normal concerns are skewed. Quickly we become out of control.

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The Power of Obsession in Alcoholism and Addiction

Obsession in Alcoholism and Addiction

Mentally, we obsess over that drink or drug. We become so fixated on it that almost everything we do leads us to think about getting intoxicated. The mind and alcoholism are so cunning, baffling, and powerful that we often cannot fathom how we ended up intoxicated when relying on our strong willpower to stay sober.

The thoughts we have as alcoholics are often insidious in such a way that we can’t tell what is true or false. The AA Big Book talks about this delusion we develop in active addiction. Thoughts like we can eventually manage our lives while in active addiction.

The mental obsession is very persistent at times. Although we are not physically compelled to that first drink or drug if we give in to the obsession we find ourselves waking up in jail cells or our loved ones are upset with us or left with no money in our bank accounts and have no idea what had happened the night before.

The mental aspect of this disease is absolutely cunning, baffling, and powerful– and even those harsh words are an understatement!

What is a Spiritual Malady?

A spiritual malady is a deep-seated inner conflict that leads to restlessness, irritability, and discontentment. It is a sense of “otherness” that keeps us from feeling at peace with ourselves and the world around us.

A spiritual malady can manifest itself in many different ways. For some, it may manifest as a feeling of being disconnected from others or as a sense of emptiness. For others, it may manifest as anger, anxiety, or depression.

What Leads to a Malady of The Spirit?

What Leads to a Malady

Regardless of how it manifests itself, a spiritual malady is always rooted in an inner conflict. This inner conflict can be caused by many different things, such as childhood trauma, unresolved grief, or trauma related to addiction.

When left unresolved, a spiritual malady will continue to lead to restlessness, irritability, and discontentment. It can also lead to other problems, such as alcohol abuse or other addictions. If you are struggling with alcoholism or any other addiction, it is important to seek help from AA or another 12-step program.

These programs can help you to understand your spiritual malady and begin to work through the inner conflict that is causing it.

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Filling the Hole: Fixing the Spiritual Malady

Spiritually, we have a difficult time connecting to a higher power. It is common to find yourself being angry at God or saying things like “if God was real this wouldn’t have happened to me” or not understanding why things are the way they are.

Especially being alcoholic more often than not, it is our nature to have that “my way or the highway” mentality. Intellectually, believing in something we cannot physically see or a scientifically proven exists is a hard pill to swallow, those intellectual individuals shut the idea out completely. These core beliefs make it harder for us to connect with a god of our understanding.

Personally, I sometimes feel like I must have missed the class on how to live life. I used to see people grocery shopping or walking their dogs through the neighborhood looking content with themselves and everything around them. I wondered why that is. Why is everyone so happy and I can’t ever seem to be satisfied with my life? I believed I suffered from ‘terminal uniqueness.’

Cultivating Connections in Recovery: Fellowship and a Higher Power

I truly thought that nobody understood me or what I was going through. I didn’t understand why anything on Earth happened the way it did. This frustrated me and filled me with doubt about a power greater than I.

A spiritual malady stems from restlessness irritability and discontentedness, and a spiritual malady can be cured just as many others can, with the right ‘prescription.’

Anxiousness, depression, and boredom are a few other factors that contribute to being spiritually maladapted. We would use drugs and alcohol to deal with these issues. For a while, that seemed to work for us but once we stopped using substances the discontentedness came back to the surface in sobriety.

People in the rooms refer to this as a ‘god-sized hole’. It’s a void that we used to fill with drugs and alcohol. Once the substances are taken away we feel lost. We will try to fill this god-sized hole with anything we can.

A Spiritual Remedy for a Spiritual Condition

Spiritual Remedy for a Spiritual Condition

How do we deal with this? Once we are aware of these feelings, we can begin the real work on ourselves. It is not easy to do so but recognizing this aspect of alcoholism forces us to take an honest look in the mirror at our behaviors and attitudes toward life and other people.

If we do not get spiritually connected with meditation or prayer with a power greater than us it will bring us closer and closer to that drink or drug. In sobriety, if we are self-reliant we usually end up using anything that will make us feel good externally excessively.

This is the type of spiritually maladapted behavior that we typically exhibit in active alcoholism. When not treating the spiritual aspect of the disease those behaviors are the types of things that will start to make life unmanageable once again.

Without a connection to a higher power, it can get quite ugly in sobriety. Fixing this involves shifting your consciousness. This is guaranteed to change your life.

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The Full Spectrum of Spirituality

The way humans think is on a spectrum of self-centeredness and god-centeredness. When dealing with the disease of alcoholism we are selfish and self-centered beings. We use everything and everyone, even when we stop using alcohol and drugs to cope with these feelings of being unsatisfied and uncomfortable in life. The more we focus less on ourselves we allow a god of our understanding to enter our minds and work in our lives.

It is strange paradox, the more you focus on helping others, the more you discover how much you matter. A key part of any recovering individual’s daily maintenance of sobriety stems around this practice, of cultivating connections with those who are also seeking to improve their lives, as well as reaching out from a standpoint of newfound strength, to help those still in the depths of despair.

Finding We Matter: Through Our Service to Others

The Spiritual Malady - Finding We Matter

As we work towards this state of selflessness we find that we are slowly being relieved of the hopeless alcoholic state we once thought we were doomed to be in forever. What a miracle this is. It is constant maintenance of being spiritually connected with a god of your understanding.

Whenever you find yourself feeling irritable discontent bored with your life or depressed it is likely that you may have skipped meditation or prayer. In some cases, you could have simply forgotten. In these situations, I feel further from God than normal and then I wonder who moved me or God and the answer is always me.

In sobriety, it is so important to maintain conscious contact with a higher power and count our blessings. Being spiritually maladapted can come from a lack of gratitude. We must live our lives selflessly and show our gratitude to a higher power for the lives that we live and the opportunity to have a second chance at life.

Practicing prayer and meditation helps us be mindful of our surroundings and gain consciousness of our spirituality by bringing us closer to our higher power. Strengthening this relationship with a spiritual being brought us hope that we can recover from the mental and physical suffering of alcoholism.

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FAQs on Issues of Spiritual Malady

Why is it so dangerous to be self-reliant when suffering from an addiction?

In AA, one of the main goals is to become sober and stay sober. To do this, members must rely on their support system which includes other members, sponsors, and meetings. When people become too self-reliant, they often start to think that they don’t need AA anymore. They may start to skip meetings, distance themselves from their support system, and eventually relapse.

Self-reliance can also be dangerous because it can lead to pride. Pride is one of the seven deadly sins for a reason. It leads to judgment, isolation, and a feeling of superiority. None of these things are conducive to a healthy recovery. In fact, they can be downright harmful.

Finally, self-reliance can be dangerous because it can lead to complacency. When people become too self-reliant, they may stop working on their program entirely. This complacency can then lead to a sense of entitlement which is extremely dangerous for people in recovery. Entitlement leads to unrealistic expectations, which often leads to disappointment and resentment.

How do I handle my spiritual malady if I don’t believe in God?

Finding a Higher Power is an essential part of Alcoholics Anonymous, but what if you don’t believe in God? You’re not alone – there are plenty of people in AA who don’t believe in God, or who have trouble with the concept of a higher power.

Here are some things you can do to work through your spiritual malady even if you don’t believe in God or have an understanding of your higher power.

Focus on the positive aspects of the program

One of the great things about AA is that it’s flexible – you can make it work for you, even if you don’t believe in God. So, instead of fixating on the parts of the program that don’t work for you, focus on the things that do.

For example, AA rooms offer fellowship and support and provide a structure that can help keep you sober. These are all positive things that can help you on your journey to recovery, regardless of your beliefs.

Understand that God can mean anything you want it to mean

In AA, God is often referred to as a Higher Power. But what exactly does that mean? It doesn’t have to be religious – it can be anything that gives you strength and hope. For some people, nature or the universe might be their Higher Power.

Others might find strength in their sobriety itself or in their fellow AA members. The important thing is that you find something that works for you.

Find a sponsor and people who share your views

One of the most important things in AA is finding a sponsor – someone who has been through the program and can help guide you through it. If you’re struggling with the concept of God, try to find a sponsor who shares your views. That way, they’ll be able to relate to your experience and offer advice from a place of understanding.

You should also try to find other people in AA who share your beliefs and struggles; they can provide support and fellowship as well as offer helpful advice. Just remember, even if you don’t share the same beliefs, everyone in AA are united by their shared experience with addiction and their desire to stay sober.

Keep an open mind

Even if you don’t believe in God right now, it’s important to keep an open mind. Things may change over time, and you never know when or how your beliefs might evolve. The important thing is that you stay committed to your sobriety and continue working the program – eventually, everything else will fall into place.

I want to find a Higher Power. How do I do this?

One way to think of a Higher Power is simply as a force that is greater than yourself. This could be the power of nature, the universe, or even something as simple as your cats or dogs at home – perhaps their love for you and the fact that they need you to be sober is your Higher Power. It doesn’t matter what your Higher Power is; what matters is that you believe in something that can help guide and support you on your journey to recovery.

It’s also important to remember that your understanding of a Higher Power can change and evolve over time. As you grow in your sobriety and learn more about yourself, you may find that your concept of a Higher Power changes as well. And that’s okay! The most important thing is that you keep an open mind and heart as you continue on your sobriety journey.

Once you’ve found something that you can believe in, it’s important to remember that your Higher Power is there for you when you need it. When things get tough, take a moment to pray, meditate, or just sit quietly and think about your Higher Power and what it means to you. Allow yourself to feel the strength and support that comes from knowing that there is something bigger than yourself out there rooting for your success.

If you’re struggling to find a Higher Power in AA, know that you’re not alone. There are many people who have been in your shoes and have found creative ways to work around this issue. Remember to keep an open mind and heart, and eventually, you will find something (or someone) who can serve as your own personal higher power.

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