I can manage my spiritual malady or emotional dysfunction, I have the tools to do so. If we practice virtues instead of defects then the brain changes for the better and we recover quicker. Our positive loving, healthy behaviours change us and our brains via neuroplasticity for the better. As I would have had a resentment, it would have had a wolf pack of negative emotions attached. Either way, if he could perhaps of had the ability to aa spiritual malady say this is how exactly I am feeling he could have acted on this emotional information rather than reacted to it. Most of my distress and emotional pain in recovery comes from wanting stuff, and not getting my way or not accepting things as they are. People like us are obsessed with the thought of controlling and enjoying our drugs or alcohol. The biggest problem is that our mind buys the lie that the next time it will be different.

My recovery has thus since been about “growing up” a bit, however unsuccessful I am in this pursuit on occasion. My inventory showed me also that I did not seem to have the facility previously to emotionally respond to the world in a mature way. It shows the areas of behaviour and attitudes that can be treated by working the steps. It shows us how our approach to life can possibly be transformed for the better. I have for several years wondered if the spiritual malady described in the Big Book adequate or accurate enough in describing what I suffer from. For example, false pride, intolerance, impatience, arrogance, shame, lust, gluttony, greed. Finally, someone explained to me that those things are not the insanity that the Big Book talks about; nor are those things why the alcoholic’s life becomes unmanageable. Of course, as long as we have minds, we will make judgments about people and situations. On a basic level, judgments about our surroundings help us survive. But with the help of the tools in 12 Step Recovery, our clients have the opportunity to catch these judgments before they harden into harmful prejudices.

Freedom From Addiction

When someone is less emotionally stable they are more likely to question and hesitate, causing self-criticism and a lack of confidence. The confidence that is gained by those who are more emotionally stable can aid them in decision-making and their ability to take needed risks. The third positive benefit is that someone who is obsessively seeking to improve has greater interpersonal sensitivity. Those who are seeking to be the best often seek the feedback of others and are more accepting of constructive criticism and instruction, making them more agreeable in their interactions. Bearing witness to this, a colleague once said, “I don’t understand you, Paul. ” My colleague may have cared, but what he failed to appreciate was the concept we refer to in AA as “powerlessness.” I was powerless over my addiction because nothing else in my life was enough to make me feel like I had any power or agency. It did not matter what I had or did because I was not enough. I did not feel myself enough as myself – smart enough, talented enough, good-looking enough, and so on. I was trapped with all I could ask for, while feeling ashamed and all alone in the world.

  • Thankfully, the“spiritual malady”is no longer a“missing piece”of Step One for me.
  • This is how a mental health disorder manifests itself as distorted fear based thinking which appear, if acted upon, to make one’s situation a whole lot worse.
  • Unhappiness to us and others, discontent, and, frequently, mental and bodily ill health are the direct results of Sin.
  • I read quite a lot of Spiritual Books from people such as Eckart Tolle, Anthony De Mello, Wayne Dyer amongst other more Eastern Spiritual teachers & they all point towards the same Human dysfunctionality born out of the Ego.
  • When I was in my own personal cycle of addiction, I was struggling with coping with the challenges of my career, marriage, and my own personal development.

And when an addict feels trapped, the bottle or drug or casino is one sure thing with which to escape. I did not realize how it drove and controlled me until now. And the fear of my higher power and of ever having that craving again is exactly why I don’t want to drink. I have experienced an entirely different life after it was lifted. Honestly I didn’t believe Sober House it was possible until it happened. That’s why it’s so important to tell and help others by our experience. This is the type of spiritually maladapted behavior that we typically exhibit in active alcoholism. When not treating the spiritual aspect of the disease those behaviors are the types of things that will start to make life unmanageable once again.

How can I overcome spiritual malady?

Almost disappointingly I found some of my sins were quite tame when compared to other people I have spoken to in recovery. Thus my original point is not semantic, AA was not founded by one person, it was co-founded as we alcoholics achieve sobriety with the help of other alcoholics. Dr Bob, it is aid, went on to help over 5,000 alcoholics achieve sobriety and died sober. I share my feelings of shame with those who know what that feels like. I related and all my negative emotions retreated to source like a evening tide on a beach. Not enough action, or effort to change my feelings in a healthy manner. However, there seems to be a problem specifically with a patterned mesh of negative emotions which are activated when someone upsets me. I was drawing up a web of my emotional dysregulation, a route map of all the wrong ways to go, to emotional cul de sacs. When I was doing my step four inventory as part of my 12 step programme of recovery I did it pretty much as suggested in the Big Book. Also we need to be aware what we project on to other alcoholics is the same thing as they project on to use and sometimes we project if back.

Thankfully, the“spiritual malady”is no longer a“missing piece”of Step One for me. It is a reality of my powerlessness and unmanageability and enables me to see why I so desperately need to seek a Power Greater than myself. And unless this malady is recognized, and a course of action is taken to enable God to remove it, the root of our alcoholic illness can lie dormant and burn us when we least expect it. At Oceanfront Recovery, our team of addiction treatment professionals understands how to approach alcohol addiction as the chronic disease it is. We offer extensive detox and therapies to help individuals address the physical aspects of the disease as well as the psychological and spiritual aspects.

The Spiritual Malady

Hence his first day of sobriety is taken as the first day of AA, although the AA organisation as we know it today took longer to come in to being. AA was co-founded 80 years ago when Bill Wilson passed on a message of hope to Dr Bob, or Dr Robert Smith to give his full name. Nobody wants to be out of control, to be teetering on the verge of the next disaster, the next moving of home, the next calling of the police, the next swirling carousel of unmanageabiilty. When things had died down and calm restored I spent the evening not in my fear or shame but in empathy and compassion. For example, this family have just moved into my neighbourhood, they seem wild and out of control. My step 4 showed me this is the unhealthy fruit of my greed, gluttony, my lust, my sloth. My dismissiveness and my arrogance are parts of defence mechanism against rejection, they guard my inherent sense of shame. I am full of shame, more so than fear, although these two overlap.

In other words, I had not processed these episodes emotionally and embedded these events in my long term memory like healthy more emotionally mature people do. I did not realise that the engine driving this emotion dysregulation was chronic shame. I can get out of the distress of wanting/needing stuff by asking God to remove those negative emotions which block me off from Him. I do not necessarily have to react to my feelings of negativity about myself, someone else does not need to experience the consequence of my resentments. This allows me to do a quick inventory of my negative emotions and a prayer to God to have them removed. My experience is that they are always removed and that we are immediately restored to sanity. I would have found this threatening to my sense of self so I would have reacted via defense mechanisms.

What does the Big Book say about spirituality?

When I accepted that the ‘spiritual malady’ was about my beliefs, thoughts, and emotions, I came to see that many of my own beliefs and thoughts on this subject were contributing to my disease. I had many old ideas and prejudices that had to be examined and released. I could identify when he went on to say, “the spiritual malady refers to a derangement of our thoughts, beliefs, and emotions. These things are out of whack and not aligned.“ The process of recovery is useful to remedy this problem.
aa spiritual malady
Today I look further at the disease of alcoholism focusing on it as a spiritual malady. He then offered his definition of the word ‘spiritual’. He said, “spiritual simply refers to that which is not material. This means those things that are not solid- such as our thoughts, our beliefs, our emotions- are what is spiritual. When we say that alcoholism or drug addiction is ‘a spiritual malady’, it means that our disease in centered in these things . It is emotionally healthy to live in the day … in the here and now.

Categories: Sober Homes

0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published.

WhatsApp WhatsApp us