This article is intended to be used by the general public for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as a reference for educational research papers, nor is it a reflection of the services available through our Rehab Program in Thailand.
Programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous call themselves simple, spiritual, not religious programs. Many people in the rooms of these recovery groups joke that religion is for people who believe in Hell, and spirituality is for people who have already been there.
Seriously, a religion is loosely defined as a group of people who share the belief in, and practice the worship of, the same superhuman controlling power. For Christians, this superhuman power is Jesus Christ. Buddhists, it’s Buddha and For Jehovah’s Witnesses, it’s Jehovah. These religions all believe in and worship their own God and they have given their God a name.
When you go to recovery groups, you are encouraged to find the God of Your own understanding and you are permitted to give that God a name. This is why you will often hear people share, “I want to thank my Higher Power, whom I choose to call God.”
Unlike religion, spirituality is defined as “the quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.” This very accurately defines this process. It is very much concerned with the human spirit.
Whatever your take on religion or spirituality might be. You don’t have to be in the rooms of your recovery groups for long before you realize that God is an integral part of the recovery process.
Many people struggle with this aspect of getting clean and working a recovery program because they don’t believe in God. They are mad at God. Or they were brought up to believe in a God who is judgmental and punishing. How can you work a program if you don’t have a God or Higher Power of your own understanding? The fact is, you can’t.
If you already know who your God is, great! If, however, you have a sincere desire to stay clean and sober, but you are struggling with the concept of God, that is okay. The group says, “We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”
The “came to believe” piece indicates a process. Coming to believe in a Higher Power will not happen overnight. It may not happen in a month. It takes some people years of working the program to find the God of their own understanding. You are currently in your own process and you must honor your own path. More will be revealed.
Acknowledging Your Recovery Groups As A Power Greater Than You
You would probably agree that when you were in your addiction or your alcoholism, you were driven by a power greater than yourself. The problem was, it was a negative power that sought to destroy you. You went looking for recovery because you admitted you were powerless over your substance abuse problem and you knew you needed help. You found help from a power greater than yourself, which are the recovery groups where you are currently a member.
Just for today, if you don’t have a God of your own understanding, make your recovery group your Higher Power. After all; it is loving, and caring, and bigger than you. It is concerned with your spirit and it has the power to help you find freedom.