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Fraser Trevor Fraser Trevor Author
Title: A lot of alcoholics I speak to who have devoted themselves to a life of spirituality
Author: Fraser Trevor
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 A lot of alcoholics I speak to who have devoted themselves to a life of spirituality – have previously had a history of drug or alcohol ad...
 A lot of alcoholics I speak to who have devoted themselves to a life of spirituality – have previously had a history of drug or alcohol addiction. Now before you run away with fright, I talk about spirituality loosely, and don’t mean you have to become a religious fanatic if you ever hope to free yourself from a life of addiction. So please keep reading to see what I mean because I believe anyone can benefit, irrespective of your beliefs …Establishing a relationship with God is a process that takes time.

I spoke before about how those of us with addictive tendencies tend to often become obsessive about things – and when we dive into something do so with heart and soul. That can lead to engaging in self-destructive behaviors like abusing alcohol or drugs, but if we manage to redirect that energy into something positive, it means our lives can unfold in a way that is uplifting, meaningful and enriching. There is hope for anyone who has been cursed with alcohol addiction.
Replacing the Void
So one of the keys to successfully beating an addiction is to find things we can devote ourselves to that will replace the void filled by alcohol or drugs. Spiritual practice whether that be in a formal religious setting, or one less so but that encompasses transformational practices like meditation and yoga etc., or those that are directly aligned with recovery from addictions like 12-step programs (which is itself essentially a spiritual program) – have proven to be the most successful in helping end a life of addiction because they provide our lives with a fresh purpose and direction, and so fill that void that ended up with us succumbing to a life of addiction in the first place.
I always like to refer back to the description Andrew Weil, MD, uses in his book ‘Natural Health, Natural Medicine’ to describe addiction because I think it sums up the problem pretty well: “Addiction is NOT a psychological or pharmacological problem, and CANNOT be solved by the methods of psychology or pharmacology. It is, at root, a SPIRITUAL concern, because it represents a misdirected attempt to achieve wholeness, to experience inner completeness and satisfaction.”
If you’ve never thought of yourself as being spiritual, it might be difficult to relate to that – but I think if you look deeply enough at how you ended up with an addiction to alcohol or drugs – I’m sure you’ll see a lot of truth in what he says. I know a lot of people see addiction purely as a mental disease – but a troubled mind usually stems from a deeper, underlying disharmony.
Spirituality Not for You? ‘No Mind …’
And even if any form of spiritual practice is simply something you can’t envisage for yourself – finding activities that you enjoy and give your life a sense of direction and purpose is crucial to creating a life that no longer includes alcohol or drugs.
Because by taking part and doing things you really enjoy and are passionate about, you often transcend your ordinary thinking mind (the part of the mind that gets us into trouble), and reach a point of ‘no mind’ as they refer to the East where you’re hardly thinking and just enjoying the moment for what it is.
Ever notice that you’re doing something you enjoy and really into it – reading a book, painting, talking to a friend, watching a movie, a walk on the beach – and without realizing suddenly an hour or two has gone just like that?
That’s when you’ve reached a point of ‘no mind’ – and the more often you do that, even if you don’t engage in any kind of ‘formal’ spiritual practice, the sooner your life will transform and amazing little blessings will begin to occur in your life. That’s why even if any form of spirituality just isn’t your thing – finding things you can really get into and passionate about is so important.
My spiritual practice now involves primarily meditation, which I do for an hour a day and which is the main thing that grounds me and keeps me centered – and other than that the kinds of things I now really enjoy doing include hiking and rock climbing, running in the woods, reading, playing a bit of golf, watching a good movie, and getting wound up (in a good way) watching my favorite sports teams do their thing. This is how to overcome the insanity of alcoholism on a daily basis, establish routines that work.
Boring? No Way
I know a lot of people think a life in recovery is boring and won’t compare to the excitement and highs you can get from drugs or alcohol – and yes if you’re after an artificial and brief high followed by an even more spectacular crash and burn when you’re coming down or sobering up – you’d be right.
But do you know how good it feels to have just hiked to the top of a mountain, finished a morning run, watched a spectacular sunset (they’re a lot better when you’re sober, trust me), enjoyed a good meal with friends or someone you love? You actually begin to realize how lucky you are to be alive and how the simple things in life are really those that give you the most joy and satisfaction.
Sure life isn’t all a walk in the park, but if you’ve at least got your sobriety you have the power to choose. You can choose to do with your life whatever you want, rather than have your choices governed by your next drink or fix. And that is ultimately the biggest gift a life of sobriety provides you with – the freedom of choice – instead of being a slave to your addiction.
In my experience, it was when I connected with the spiritual realm that I was truly set free from alcohol addiction. When I attended my first AA meeting, a man suggested that I pray and ask God to take away the desire for a drink. I did that and God honored my prayer. It has been over thirty years since I’ve had a drink. The spiritual side of getting sober and staying sober is the key ingredient to my success as a recovering alcoholic.
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