While not everyone who enters recovery embraces a life of faith, it almost goes without saying that faith and recovery have long been connected. If you need any evidence of this, look no further than to the third step in the 12-Step program—which is, essentially, to affirm a Higher Power (or God) and turn over control of your life to it/him/however you conceive of this higher power.
Have you ever stopped to wonder why faith has come to play such an integral role in the recovery process, though? The simple answer is that faith is an important element in attaining lasting recovery. That has not to say that everyone needs faith to facilitate recovery—but for many individuals who are in recovery, faith is helpful.
To understand why this is, first remember that addiction is a disease—specifically, a form of mental illness, just as surely as depression and anxiety are. (In fact, addiction is often accompanied by other, co-occurring mental health disorders.) It is illogical to think that you might use your mind alone—the same one ravaged by the disease of addiction—to “cure” yourself. Thus, a turn to a Higher Power makes sense: It is a daily reminder that for true recovery you must look outside of yourself.
There are other reasons why faith is helpful, as well. It can provide a sense of perspective—a cosmic perspective, encouraging you to meditate on things bigger than yourself. It can provide incentive to help other people, an excellent way of developing your own mental health. Faith can even provide a sense of structure that many in recovery crave.
Faith must be arrived at authentically, but for those who are willing to embrace it, it can be a powerful comfort during a season of recovery.
Do you find faith to help with your recovery journey? Tell us how!