Getting Sober / Staying Sober

Spiritual development

The idea of spiritual development in relation to recovery from alcoholism/alcohol abuse whether in a rehab or by directly going to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings is sometimes a difficult concept for many people to grasp.

This is because most people who have a fairly limited understanding or experience of alcoholism will see the problem as being that of alcohol, whereas people who work in a rehab, or have experience of having been in a rehab and worked with alcoholics will understand that the real process of recovery concerns a person in someway changing their inner world.

The original members and founders of Alcoholics Anonymous realised that the nature of recovery from alcoholism necessitated a profound spiritual change within the person. What became more difficult to define is what this actually meant.

When people enter a rehab, there is normally a fairly clear tipping point by way of external pressures or problems that may include alcohol and other life issues.

Once in a rehab the person will be confronted with the reality of life in some sense. It is probably fair to say at an alcoholic, through the progression of their illness, will have come to see alcohol as being the solution to their problem not the problem itself.

This is an attitude and approach that anyone who works in a rehab should understand and be sympathetic to.

Many people who work in a rehab in either a therapeutic or nursing or medical role are often recovering alcoholics themselves, as well as having been in a rehab at the beginning of their recovery process.

A person’s spiritual development will be unique to them both at the beginning of the process in a rehab or by directly attending meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous.

These meetings may be held in a rehab itself or outside premises.

When people talk about a spiritual development, they inevitably think that it means becoming a good or better person. In fact the real process around a spiritual development or growth has much more to do with a person’s authenticity than whether they have involved themselves in any type of character building.

The recovery process in a rehab will often focus more extensively on the alcohol than the therapeutic recovery process.

This does vary quite considerably within different types of rehabs, with some being exclusively focused on the early process of recovery, whilst many a rehab will work through an adaptation of the first five steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.

The time spent in a rehab will be seen as a precursor to living life in recovery outside a rehab, and hopefully the rehab will encourage meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous/Narcotics Anonymous.

Many a rehab will actually make it a condition of people spending time in a rehab/treatment center that they attend a specified number of AA/NA meetings a week.

This is something that people need to consider when deciding what type of rehab they want to enter.

It is important not to be frightened by the term spiritual development.

Of itself it is simply a process that will begin in a person once they enter a rehab, or make the decision to enter a rehab, which is of itself an admission that in some way they need help.

What happens when the person leaves a rehab can vary considerably, but time spent a rehab means that seeds will have been sown that hopefully over time will root the person in their own spiritual life.

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