Malady of the spirit

What happens after the addict is clean? When the alcohol is no longer fighting for control? Why is it so difficult for some to make that one year mark?

Here the addict is at the end of themselves, and it is there and only there that a greater power is found.

One of the greatest heartbreaks a family can experience is when relapse happens after an extended period of sobriety. We start to feel hope again, then suddenly tragedy strikes. Unfortunately we have seen overdose, and even death. Why is it so difficult to stay clean and sober?

There is more to recovery than detox. The mind has been hijacked, out of balance for years- it will take time to reset and restore.

The following excerpts are deeply rooted in recovery. This information has been proven through experience. I give all the credit to God for safely bringing my son to this point. Today he is actively helping others move forward in recovery, while learning to rely on God himself.

My hope is that we can all understand more about ourselves, and together trust that there is a God who is bigger and stronger than we could ever be.

From Psychology and Addiction, written by Christopher Masterson

It is my belief that the chronic addict suffers from a particularly difficult neurosis. The addict uses the alcohol, marijuana, or heroin, whatever the substance, to self-cure his neurotic state. Sometimes, the anxieties can be traced to obvious struggles or fears within the life of the addict, but with this type of neurosis these solutions do little or no good. They are uncomfortable in their own skin, as if existence felt wrong. Their symptoms vary, but they can be best described as “restless, irritable, and discontented, unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks.” (Alcoholics Annonymous, page xxvi). This roughly describes what the book calls the “spiritual malady” which is a nearly impossible difficult neurosis to overcome.

The problem is that an addict without their drug gets worse over any considerable period of time, never better.

The addict typically begins to perceive their surroundings as more and more hostile, and without even realizing it is happening they will disconnect from their community and dive deeper and deeper into self-absorbed isolation. They believe it is the community around them that is the cause of their disconnect. However, the mind longs for reconciliation, and so at times without even having the desire or contemplation beforehand, the addict will do the only thing they can do. They will use drugs. At once they enter into an unnatural sense of reconciliation and oneness.

The solution for these near hopeless cases is first to recognize hopelessness.

For it is a drowning man who will do anything to survive, and for the addict this means a willingness and humility to set aside one’s own ideas and be a clean slate in order for psychic rearrangements to take place. They must become aware of not only their inability to manage the use of the drug, but also their inability to manage their own minds.

No amount of human will power can conquer the drug, nor will they find happiness in life. Here the addict is at the end of themselves, and it is their and only there that a greater power is found.

…“…For deep down in every man, woman, and child, is the fundamental idea of God. It may be obscured by calamity, by pomp, by worship of other things, but in some form or other it is there. For faith in a power greater than ourselves, and miraculous demonstrations of that power in human lives, are facts as old as man himself.” (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 55).

Chris M. – thank you.

What is the malady of the spirit? It is the need that exists in each one of us to surrender to something greater than ourselves. We cannot do it ourselves. Only He can. This is not something that can be learned or overcome through religion. We must experience God for ourselves.

Realize the strength that comes from surrender. Only then will the emptiness, the spiritual malady, if you will, be filled.

Every single one of us has this need. For some- it is a matter of life or death.

If you have question, please reach out! Let’s talk about this one. The malady of the spirit is the beginning of the journey. It is our weakness- that shows God’s strength.

Chaplain Debbie Lamm

(704) 707-4277

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