The Misinformation about Alcoholics Anonymous and Sobriety by Veronica Valli

If you have ever been in treatment, you have probably heard the term “craving” before. It’s often said that we have a three-part disorder – mental obsession, spiritual malady, and the phenomenon of craving. The phenomenon of craving is the main distinction between those of us who have a substance use disorder and those who do not. Alcoholism and addiction are diseases of a three-fold nature that affect us mentally, spiritually, and physically. First, we have the physical allergy to drugs and alcohol, meaning that people like us can’t safely use alcohol in any form at all. Once we start, we can’t stop – no matter how badly we want to. The “spiritual malady” of the Oxford group seems enhanced in me, I believe I sin more than normal people because of my emotional immaturity and reactivity.

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These are my main negative emotional reactions to the world that often scare me and make me feel ashamed. I also have other ways of reacting in an emotionally unhealthy way that my step 4 showed. I was working with someone last year and we had a disagreement and this guy said to me “I am upset” and “You have hurt my feelings” I was taken aback. This guy was an Olympic champion at expressing how he feels compared to me.

The Unselfish Spirit

That is not to say that normal people cannot be full of sin – a cursory look around the work and it’s events will soon confirm this is the case. What I am saying is that they do not have the emotion dysregulation or fear based responding that I seem to have which often prompts “sin”. 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. Without a connection to a higher power, it can get quite ugly in sobriety. We become so fixated on it that almost everything we do leads us to think about getting intoxicated. The mind and alcoholism are so cunning, baffling and powerful that we often cannot fathom how we ended up intoxicated when relying on our strong willpower to stay sober.

While one is longing for the person (who mirror’s your own Soul qualities), the other is longing for Divinity/God/Enlightenment. The feelings of loss, longing, emptiness, and sorrow that you’re experiencing mirror exactly what those undergoing a Dark Night experience. The only difference is that those experiencing complex grief are seeing all their hope, freedom, and happiness bound-up in the lost person.

Spiritual Journey

Trauma and mental health conditions should only ever be treated by qualified professionals. They are not remotely original and have been passed down through generations. We can trace their origins not to Christianity, but to the Gnostic religions that Christianity evolved from. The Gnostic practice of spirituality is much spiritual malady closer to the 12-step spiritual program than the Christian religion is . There is a strong argument that the Gnostics were feminist in nature. Women were priests, the Goddess was seen as part of the divine, and there is much feminine imagery in their teachings. You don’t need to be an artist to benefit from art therapy.

  • The pursuit of them dominated our lives, destroyed relationships, and caused greater desperation than we ever thought possible.
  • However, there seems to be a problem specifically with a patterned mesh of negative emotions which are activated when someone upsets me.
  • Because complex grief is so deep-rooted, it also requires deep-rooted healing techniques and practices that are Soul-centered.
  • It was one more thing that my disease used to separate me from other folks in the rooms of recovery, another way to feel unique.

This has fueled the feelings of shame around alcoholism and being an alcoholic. This culture of secrecy has also allowed abuse to flourish in the rooms, which is one of the reasons we must talk more openly about these issues.

thought on “The Spiritual Malady”

Other emotions are substituted to hide the shame and maintain self esteem. Anger, exaggerated pride, anxiety and helplessness are substituted to keep from feeling the total blackness of being bad. The buried shame is expressed through defense mechanisms that shield negative unconscious material from surfacing. I got as far as deciding it was an inherent problem with processing negative emotions, which it is. It was a list of the negative emotions which appear always when I felt anger and resentment against someone for hurting me and my feelings. 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.

  • The solution to your alcoholism is the same as the solution to their alcoholism.
  • The journey back to who we really are, for some people, is through the 12 steps.
  • The good news is that properly treated, those in recovery from the disorder are often able to, with continued growth, use this quality in order to be very successful.
  • As you stare into the mirror, enfold yourself in a hug and cradle yourself.
  • You can even celebrate your deceased loved one by creating a piece of art in honor of them.

If you’re in addiction recovery (or you’re not) and you’re interested in tuning into your spiritual side, the above serve as great starting points. The fundamental issue with a substance use disorder is that there are no predictable factors that make someone more prone to the disorder than another. In fact, studies have been done on twins to try to determine if there is a genetic predisposition for a substance use disorder, typically with mixed results. As there is no specific reason that someone grows to have a substance use disorder, there’s no defining factor or characteristic that might make someone’s obsession turn light or dark.


I was amazed as this guy was reading his emotions, identifying verbalising/expressing them to me in a way I have https://ecosoberhouse.com/ never been able to do. We have to show love and tolerance for each other as we suffer the same illness/malady.