Chapter 5 Big Book of A A. 2nd edition

To conclude, it’s not my body — my allergic reaction to alcohol — that’s going to take me back to drinking. It’s really not my mind — the mental obsession — that is the underlying root of what will take me back to drinking. It’s the “spiritual malady”, as manifested by my EGO (selfishness-self-centeredness), that can eventually lead me back to drinking or sometimes even suicide. In addition to the above-mentioned practices, exploring one’s creative side, cultivating positive relationships, and living a balanced lifestyle can enhance spiritual growth. Embracing gratitude and forgiveness and relinquishing negative emotions can uplift the mind and spirit. By practicing self-care, individuals can create an environment of self-love and acceptance, achieving a better understanding of their purpose and connection with themselves.

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Same thing with alcohol; some people can have a couple beers, no problem. But alcoholics have an “allergy” to alcohol, so for them, a couple beers turns into a world of hurt. Some people can have one Christmas cookie and they’re good. But for food addicts—because of their body’s “allergy” to sugar or processed foods—one Christmas cookie leads to a dozen. The spiritual malady is not the only aspect of the three-fold illness that can be healed in Glenwood Springs.

Nurturing Your Spirituality: Tips for Preventing Spiritual Maladies

This biases our system towards threat physiology and plays a significant role in our health and wellness. As we are an inherently spiritual species, we frequently fear a spiritual death as much as a physical death. Failure to recognize the effects of all of our existential worries, big and small, leads to all kinds of mishaps and trouble for our species. When we are threatened, we also have two defensive phenotypes. One is a mobilization response to threat where we can prejudge, react, attack, argue, criticize, blame, and experience interpersonal disconnections. This is frequently referred to as “fight and flight” physiology.

The Role of Spirituality in Addiction Recovery

Spiritual practitioners have attested to the significant impact of the practice on their lives. For instance, one man narrated how consistently waking up to the same song in his head led him to seek spiritual guidance, leading to a positive transformation in his life. The summation of physical threats, spiritual threats, shadow threats, and existential threat is our total threat load. A chronically high total threat load will lead to maladaptive physiology and maladaptive behavior, and will lead to illness and disease—both physical and spiritual. We have to be aware of this phenomenon in everything we do and we have to be willing to look directly at this reality to be aware and correct course.

But in our quest to fill this void with any and everything we can think of, we completely miss that the only thing that can actually fulfill us a spiritual connectedness to something greater than ourselves. This is the type of spiritually maladapted behavior that we typically exhibit in active alcoholism. I really like the analogy spiritual malady that the physical part of our disease is an “allergy of the body”. Because its exactly like allergies; For example, some people can rub their face in a cat’s fur and it doesn’t bother them a bit. (Although I’m not sure who would ever want to do that!)  But for me, I’m allergic to cats and if I did that I’d be in a world of hurt.

what is spiritual malady

However, in keeping with the 10th tradition of AA, the opinions I express in the book do not necessarily reflect the beliefs or positions held by AA as a whole. Symptoms of spiritual maladies are accompanied by severe depression, anxiety, or other mental health conditions. One area where spiritual maladies often come to the forefront is in addiction and substance abuse. For many individuals, addiction is not just a physical or psychological dependency but also a reflection of a deeper spiritual void.

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

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. 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.

What You Need to Know About Spiritual Illness and Disease

  • They are suppose the tell the fronts of our brains to find words for our feelings.
  • When these physical, mental, and spiritual components come together, an individual with alcohol use disorder will be rendered powerless to arrest a vicious cycle of obsessions, cravings, and alcohol abuse.
  • 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.
  • They may anticipate a sensational event that will forever change their lives, permanently elevating them above the routine din of the daily grind, and giving them the secret to ongoing happiness.
  • That is why they say “Higher Power of your understanding” rather than God.
  • We become so fixated on it that almost everything we do leads us to think about getting intoxicated.
  • It is important to note that while spirituality can enhance overall well-being and contribute to a sense of purpose, it is not a substitute for professional mental health treatment.
  • Also, tornados, hurricanes, droughts, fires, global warming, and war threaten us physically.
  • Also, they cannot fathom how other people manage to deal with crises in life – even when they have it worse.
  • They may start to skip meetings, distance themselves from their support system, and eventually relapse.
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