Logo graphic

A Therapist’s Journey Through Addiction and Recovery

April 5, 2024
Featured image for “A Therapist’s Journey Through Addiction and Recovery”

This past weekend, something profound happened while I was hanging out with my sponsor, diving deep into the AA big book. He shared insights on addiction and its solution that hit me in a way I hadn’t experienced before. It got me thinking, why not share these revelations with you? After all, we’re all on this journey together, trying to make sense of the chaos that addiction brings into our lives.

We explored the notion that addicts, including myself, suffer from a sort of blindness. This isn’t about not seeing what’s in front of us but failing to see the wreckage our actions have caused. When faced with temptation, all the past mistakes, the chaos, the hurt we’ve caused just doesn’t register. It’s like our history is wiped clean in that moment, and we’re back to square one, risking everything for that fleeting satisfaction.

My sponsor pointed out how this pattern isn’t typical. Most people, after witnessing the destruction such behaviors wreak, would steer clear of addiction’s triggers. But not us addicts. We seem to forget all our sorrows and dive back into the abyss, time and time again, until a new calamity wakes us up. Whether it’s a health scare, a relationship on the brink, or the sharp pang of guilt and shame, it takes these jolts to remind us of the path we’ve tread.

But here’s the kicker: even those harsh awakenings aren’t enough to keep us on the straight and narrow. Why? Because the root issue remains unaddressed. That’s where the big book comes in, offering not just a diagnosis but a solution—a spiritual solution.

Now, let’s talk about this “spiritual solution.” It’s not about defining who or what your higher power is. That part is up to you. The essence lies in fostering a connection, a spiritual experience that brings about such a significant change in attitude that the thought of acting out loses its grip on you. My sponsor describes it as an attitudinal shift powerful enough to turn the lights on in a room that’s been dark for too long.

I’ve come to realize that these spiritual experiences don’t just happen overnight. They unfold over time, layer by layer, revealing new truths and insights that gradually reshape our lives. During one of our talks, I mentioned feeling a bit of anger over something trivial. My sponsor asked if I was connected to my higher power at that moment. Truth be told, I wasn’t. And that’s the thing—even the smallest disconnection can lead us back to the edge of temptation.

This has led me to a crucial epiphany: having a fleeting moment of spiritual connection isn’t enough. It’s about maintaining that connection constantly, through every high and low, awake or asleep. I won’t lie; it’s a challenging path, and I’m far from perfect. But it’s about progress, not perfection.

So, here’s the heart of it all: the real antidote to addiction isn’t just knowledge, therapy, or support groups alone. It’s about cultivating a continuous spiritual connection that guides us away from the brink. This journey has taught me that while the road to recovery is multifaceted, at its core, it’s the spiritual bond we forge that holds the power to break the chains of addiction.

Remember, we’re all works in progress, striving to strengthen that spiritual tie every day. And in this shared journey, let’s remind each other that it’s not just about fighting the darkness but about finding our light and keeping it burning bright.