1 in 7 people in the United States has or will battle with, a substance addiction.
Recovery isn’t easy. In fact, some days, it can feel downright impossible.
Those who created 12-step programs and many rehab institutions are aware of this, and they know just how challenging it can be. And that’s why the second step of 12-step style programs acknowledge a Higher Power and that It can restore you to sanity.
But what is a Higher Power? Do you have to choose a specific religious Higher Power? What about if you’ve had a bad experience with religion?
In this blog post, we’ll discuss how to find a Higher Power that fits with your personal belief system, as well as how trusting in It can help you on the road to recovery.
Read on for more information.
Those who have had bad experiences with faith-based institutions in the past may ask themselves, or others, this question. And no doubt, it’s fair and makes sense for those religion has not served well.
However, empirical evidence shows that belief in a Higher Power actually helps people not only get clean but remain that way. A 2012 study found that over 250 studies showed that faith-based recovery helped former addicts refrain from using alcohol and other substances.
The study didn’t look at this in a biased fashion, though, as they did take time to find how faith may contribute to alcohol and drug use. They found that a belief in a Higher Power did sometimes contribute to alcohol and drug use, but only 1.4% of the time.
This shows that having a Higher Power to rely on can make the process of healing much smoother. It also shows that a belief in a Higher Power leads to further success with recovery for a longer period of time.
Many individuals have had a bad experience with the Christian church, or with other religious groups. Some people may even cope with abuse at the hands of religious leaders by turning to alcohol and drugs. This is especially the case if those who were supposed to look after them while they were growing up believed the abusers over them.
Other people may have not been directly abused by clergy or the church or other religions but may feel ostracized by it. If they are trans, homosexual or have lived a life classic religions don’t typically approve of, they may feel as though they don’t want anything to do with a Higher Power.
Both of these scenarios are common and the reaction is normal. However, in recovery, a belief in a Higher Power is not committing you to attend church services or other religious services. It also doesn’t mean you have to profess to be a member of a certain religion.
You can believe in a Higher Power and still acknowledge the hurt religion has caused you. Recognize that this hurt was done by people, who are imperfect, not by the Higher Power.
This is ultimately a question you must answer for yourself. Most recovery centers or sponsors will not force you to believe in a specific Higher Power, but rather ask that you have one.
A Higher Power in the sense of recovery is a being that is in control of everything. It is a being that controls the universe and is one that you can surrender to when you feel you’ve lost control. It is a being that you can pray to in your moments of weakness.
In terms of recovery, a Higher Power can be anything you feel you connect to spiritually. For some people, this can be specific stars, the sun or the moon. For others, this may be the power of their ancestors, gods that were worshipped in a different time, nature, the Universe or even Mother Earth.
While there is no doubt that the 12-step program was originally written in terms of the classic Christian doctrine, you don’t have to adopt it in order to succeed with it. Instead, creating your own connection to the universe will help you succeed.
As we mentioned previously, a Higher Power is a being that is All-Knowing and helps you tune into your spiritual existence. In this framework, a Higher Power knows you are capable of more than addiction. A Higher Power has more planned for you than a life as a slave to your drug of choice.
In moments when you feel weak or that recovery is impossible, a Higher Power can be called upon to help give you confidence. You can trust that a Higher Power has a plan for you and that the plan is not for you to continue using drugs or alcohol.
Belief in a Higher Power is just one aspect of the recovery process. In order for the process to work, you must be fully committed to it, ensuring that you’re ready to dive in completely.
If you are ready to take the plunge and begin your journey of recovery today, contact us at ReAlign Detox to start off the process in the correct way. We are here to help you move from an addict to someone who is enjoying life fully and completely, without the tether of drugs.