Sober living

Thoughts of Recovery No 17 The Spiritual Malady Step 1

If any of these needs are neglected, then the individual is not likely to be fully cured. We feel this ancedotal evidence of emotional dysfunction in addicted individuals has the potential to greatly help research probe more deeply into certain areas of addictive behaviours. The following blogs are a collection of blogs from our sister blog which is dedicated to explaining what it is like to suffer from and recover from alcoholism and other addictive behaviours. Since AA began, I’ve taken immense wallops in all these areas because of my failure to grow up, emotionally and spiritually”. What we used once to regulate negative emotions and a sense of self has eventually come to regulate our emotions to such an extent that any distress leads to the compulsive response of drinking. Alcoholics had become a compulsive disorder to relief distress not to induce pleasure.

  • When things get tough, take a moment to pray, meditate, or just sit quietly and think about your Higher Power and what it means to you.
  • Alcoholics would read and follow the steps in the book and get sober.
  • I approach healing wholistically with the ideal that we are mind, body, and spirit.
  • But it started in a meeting somewhere and was repeated, and now it is very hard to find a meeting where it’s not done (although there are a few meetings that purposefully don’t use this greeting).
  • The addict’s brain has essentially been hijacked by their addiction.
  • The way humans think is on a spectrum of self-centeredness and god-centeredness.

These things were true to some extent, in fact, to a considerable extent with some of us. In other words it is the consequence of my fear based condition, this affective disorder. It simply means we are spiritually blocked off from the Power of God, which enables us to remain sober, happy, joyous, and free. As addicts we can become so focused on the outward form our addiction takes – whether that booze, drugs, sex, overeating, etc. – spiritual malady that we overlook its deep roots at the core of our being. This spiritual malady is the restless spirit, the soul sickness that if left untreated will begin to ooze symptoms of emotional insecurity worry, anger, self-pity, and depression, even if we have been sober for years. We have found that these problems no longer exist for us when we begin living by spiritual principles and improving our conscious contact with our higher power.


This chapter is my own and many other people’s understanding of the term. Remember, this chapter is about letting go of preconceptions. For example, I may have no control over what you do or say, but I certainly have the power of choice in how I respond. And when I respond from a place of selfishness, manipulation, fear, or dishonesty, I can begin to see how my problems start. Another common argument is around the use of the language about “character defects” and the purpose of documenting them.

spiritual malady explained

My inventory of steps 4/5 showed me that my long lists of resentments were mainly the product of emotional immaturity and responding in an immature manner to not getting my way. 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. We begin to obsess and buy the lie because we want to feel the ease and comfort of the first drink. We drink and set off the craving and the cycle of addiction starts all over again. Basically, the alcoholic, once they start they cannot control the amount they take.

The Big Book study group

Yet, the actual meaning behind the prayer has nothing to do with addiction at all. The words of this prayer have linked together truths of… Alcoholics Anonymous is now a worldwide organization with groups in virtually every country on the planet and a membership counting in the millions. It is widely acknowledged to be the most successful program of recovery in existence.

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. Luckily, at that moment he discovered a recovery program based on spiritual principles. When Nick felt he had his life back, he knew he would dedicate his life to helping others experience the same joy. He believes that the very feeling he was pursuing at a young age has now been fulfilled by the love he allows to enter his heart.

The Spiritual Malady: Bane of the Alcoholic and Addict

It wasn’t until six years later that five different court districts, eighteen warrants, a pair of handcuffs and a secured jail cell disrupted his behavior. The Phenomenon of Craving is a distinct, pronounced, physiological reaction to the “first one” that is entirely unique to those that suffer from addictive disease. This abnormal reaction to drugs and alcohol is terminal, meaning there is no known cure.

What does spiritual malady mean?

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 (thoughts, beliefs, emotions).

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