I'd be interested to hear from others how faith, and a belief in a Higher Power has played a role in your ability to obtain/maintain sobriety. I have been struggling with an addiction to narcotics for years...I'll go to rehab, go to meetings, be OK for awhile, then relapse. Same cycle over and over. I now take suboxone which really has been a life-saver all around for me in keeping me from using every day like I used to. But I've been disillusioned recently due to a weekend relapse a couple of weeks ago. I just find it so hard to not want the pills, or rather the feeling they gave me of peace, contentment, and being able to handle anything! I know you on these boards understand, while "earth" people think that is the silliest thing ever!
I really do believe (after years of watching it happen for other people, but not getting it myself) that faith is a huge component for a successful sober life. But how do you get there? I pray everyday, and have started going back to church, and being around people who are driven by their faith and a relationship with a higher power. But I feel like a fake. I sit there and my heart just isn't into it. I pray, and everyday still feel nothing. I have a friend who always says that he was able to fill the hole in his soul that he used drugs for with his new faith. And I'd love to have the experience. But it's just not in me!
I do believe that there is "something" else out there. I do believe that we have a purpose and are supposed to lead our lives in a good, kind manner. But I'm pretty nebulous about everything else. And I definitely don't feel the connectedness and spirituality that I see other people have. And those are the people in the meetings and churchs who are happy, and sober, and making it work, so I want that!
SOrry to ramble...basically I'd love to hear from others who are doing well and are happy in sobriety what role faith plays, and how you got there if you weren't always a spiritual person.
I have found that a belief in a Higher Power does not always mean God, it is a belief that something, someone, or a combination of both will help, support nd show me the way to live clean. I, myself have a great belief in a God, it may not be the traditional Christian God, it is my own personal God. The Twelve steps is not a religious program, however they do believe that you need to trust a Higher Power to help you in your recovery, most addicts that follow the 12 step programs find that by giving thier lives over to the Higher Power of THIER understanding is the way that they stay clean. You are on the right path, so don't give up just keep going and one day it will make sense to you. Giving your will and your life over to a Higher Power of your understanding is just that...pray to have the mental obsession, and the physical anxiety to be removed from your mind and body and let God's will take you from there. Just hang in....and be patient, you did not become an addict overnight and you can not expect to get it and be clean overnight, and you don't need to be clean to be in recovery... you only need the willingness to be clean and it will happen. Every person is different and for some it takes two days, two weeks, or maybe two years. The important thing is you are on the right path, so stick with it. Life is the journey, not the destination, don't worry about where you are in recovery, just be thankful that you are in recovery and let God, or whoever ..LOL do the rest.
I have never believed in any type of higher power or god. Even as a young child I always found it hard to believe. No offense to anyone who does, if it works for you then go with it.
I have not been recovering for too long, so reading all the stories about relapses, it would be naive for me to think I was clear, but what helps me is to have faith in myself. Have faith that I can do it. You know truly believe that you can and will beat it. Whenever I crave I tell myself I am stronger then the drugs, and so on.
I also have found that hard exercise is a very big help.
I go out and run 2 miles and try to add a little to it everyday.
When you are running (or doing any sort of high impact exercise) it is just you and the work. You are not thinking about anything else. And when it is done, you feel so phycologically strong you feel you can do anything.
Of course exercise is not the secrect cure but it helps alot both physically and mentally.
Hi ! I read your thread and it's saying you really want to have faith- you are unsure of the faith.
I have a suggestion.. write down 15 things that negatively impacted your life or the life of your kids or the lifes of others as a result of your drug use.
Then read them to someone else, someone actively in the program.
What I did was realized "my way" of doing things were not working for me. I could not handle taking the recomended dosage of meds.
Then I looked at somehow "a power greater than myself" saved me from getting in a wreck, losing my job, keeping pretty good health except for my back.
For me, step 4- making a moral inventory showed me MY part in my resentments. Where did I set myself up in a position to be hurt.
Then I did my fifth step with another, and It made me feel good in my own skin for the first time in forever.
Realizing there is a power greater than yourself is the 1st step to living happy again. (And free of drugs)
"I believe that friends lift us up when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly."
3 or 4 months into outpatient rehab and AA meetings I started to go nuts. I hated sobriety, hated my family, hated my job, became convinced people were staring at me all the time, so I decided to tell everybody to take a hike, I was moving to a little cabin in Vermont.
I was crawling out of my skin.
I was miserably unhappy and figured if I felt this bad, then sobriety just didn't make any sense. Why bother?
I talked to my AA sponsor, expecting a magic answer. Instead he asked me his usual annoying question...did I pray?
I didn't want to hear about prayer. I didn't want to hear about God or Higher Power or any of that crapola. I didn't believe any of it.
Commuting to work the next day I became convinced people were staring at my pants. Some one bumped into me on the crowded train platform and I almost swung at them. I couldn't take it anymore and I started praying. And slowly, I began to feel better.
We aren't big enough for all life's insanity, especially when we heap drugs and booze on top. We feel better at first, then our lives fall apart. But when I began to pray, I began to feel better. I'm taking the load off my shoulders and asking my Higher Power to help, because I can't.
I'm now convinced of the power of prayer.
It took me 4 yrs to get AA. I was addicted to scotch and Xanax. The guy I sponser took 20 yrs to get this program.
Go to meetings, grab a seat and even if you don't believe, start praying.
Arguing about the existence of god is like the special olympics....even if you win, you're still retarded. I pray....I don't know who I pray to....but I pray. Read up on some Jung....that'll help with the higher power thing.
I,too prayed but wasn't feeling it in my heart.I picked up the book Converstions with God,and wow,really had some questions answered for me,really changed my perspective on things.What a difference I started feeling,when I didn't think it was possible.In fact,since it's been a while,I'm going to reread it,since I've gotten away from praying for a while, and I can really tell the difference.Just a suggeston,but it's a book that REALLY helped me maintain clean time!!
I couldn't have said it any better BC!! Everything I was thinking while I was reading your post is what I would have said. Don't get frustrated and "hang in there" like BC said. I know a lot of people that are going thru the same thing you are. Be patient, you will get it eventually. You sound like you are on the right path to me!! Good luck and God bless.