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Religion and Recovery

Discussion in 'Sobriety Tips and Inspiration' started by Janie, Feb 17, 2015.

  1. Janie

    Janie Active Contributor

    Do you think religion, or belief in a higher power, is helpful in recovery?

    Do you think there are more people who quit and abstain from their own strong willpower, or more people who would say it is only through God's divine assistance that they are able to abstain?
  2. drc52

    drc52 Active Contributor

    It really depends on the person. For some people a 'higher power' is an excuse to not take responsibility, for others only a 'higher power' can help them stay sober. I think that the idea is extremely useful to someone struggling with the task of staying sober, when they let go of that struggle and let a god take care of it, the process becomes easier. This only works if they really do believe in a higher power, however. I hope that this makes sense, I'll elaborate if it doesn't.
  3. HugsNotDrugs

    HugsNotDrugs Active Contributor

    If you say that it is only through god's power that you can get sober, then it's also kind of an excuse to not take responsibility for getting yourself sober. If you battle with addiction for 15 years it is not because "god has not blessed you yet", it is because of your own personal choices and your own personal body chemistry.

    I feel like saying it was god who got you sober is an excuse to get away with all that you did before you got sober. How could anyone blame you if it was god's plan?

    I think if people need or want to pray for guidance, then good for them. But I think getting sober is ultimately still 100% the addict's choices and responsibility.
  4. Rosyrain

    Rosyrain Community Champion

    I have noticed that a lot of recovering people turn toward religion and if it helps them stay sober, they can believe what they want about it. I have always been a pretty religious person, but a lot of it is free will.
  5. Matthodge1

    Matthodge1 Community Champion

    I do believe that it is imperative in recovery. God cares about you and loves you very much. However, there are plenty of nonreligious people who go through recovery and stay clean by sheer free will.
  6. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    Religion or beliefs can be helpful in motivating a person to quit addiction. Specially if the person will strongly belief on the power of it and follow. But it is still depends on a person since he or she had the freedom to decide and do things for himself.
  7. elles-belles

    elles-belles Community Champion

    I feel that religious beliefs can get you through a lot of things in life...including getting sober and living a healthy life! It obviously depends on an individual and how strong their belief or faith is in God!

    It is also obviously up to the actual individual to first and foremost accept that they have a problem and take responsibility then if they put their recovery in God's hands then great for them. I suppose also that one can't just say they have put their recovery in God's hands and lay back... there needs to be matching action to that and of course that too takes a lot of work!
  8. goldenmaine

    goldenmaine Active Contributor

    I think there is no harm in believing in a higher being to help in the recovery process of a person. Something to believe in can help a person have the faith and resilience to be able to overcome their problem or sadness and move forward in life. The feeling of being alone can further make a person quit and sometimes some people do not have anyone to cling to anymore because their family and friends have given up on them. This where their faith to a higher being come in, wherein they seek help for them to recover from the lowest point of their lives.
  9. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    I've witnessed miracles. A drug addict gets converted today and he stays clean forever. It's love that does it. Once you feel the love of God, you desire to love Him as much as He loves you. You've heard it said that love conquers all. This is one of those cases where the religious person's love for God strengthens them to stay away from drugs and everything else filthy.

    So yes, it is willpower but the love is what keeps the recovering addict to keep fighting.
  10. randomrules

    randomrules Member

    I find this is a difficult thing to discuss because I worry that something I might say could damage someones recovery.

    I personally struggle with the concept of a higher power. I can just about come to terms with it if I attribute the power to a force of nature, but the idea that there is some interventionist, all knowing, all powerful God…I find that unlikely to say the least.

    I think the problem lies within the fact, deep down, I don't want to sacrifice my agency as a free human being, I want to master myself, without telling myself I am incapable of true control and that I need the idea of God, or his help, in order to maintain my own life.

    Of course, I do admit that the story doesn't need the capital T Truth in order to hold some truth. I think it has something to do with surrendering oneself somehow, and perhaps culturally the idea of God is the way we have learnt to be humble, to show gratitude? I believe there are secular ways of reaching the same end point, of admitting how small we are in the Universe and how much of it all is outside of our control, while still recognising the things we can control.

    While I wouldn't try to make anyone not believe in God or a higher power, I think it is also dangerous to suggest that it is the only way to recover. I dread to think of how many people out there are trapped in addiction because they cannot accept a higher power.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2015
  11. musicmonster

    musicmonster Senior Contributor

    Getting into a relationship with God can make a huge difference when it comes to recovery. Religion on the other hand will just make things worst. There's a lot of restrictions with religion and it is not good for a suffering addict to get into all that.
  12. juno

    juno Community Champion

    I think it depends on the type of persn you are. If you are a spiritual person, then you probably need to believe in that devine intervention to help support you. Some need that fear of God to help them stop using what made them take sinful actions in their eyes. There are thers who are not very religious, yet still need to believe in some sort of universal power to help them get to their goal. Then to some people religion does not matter at all and it is all about their own will power.
  13. mikka254

    mikka254 Member

    Believing that there is a higher power is universal. Even satanists believe in satan and hippies believe in mother nature lol. So no matter what it is you believe in, ask yourself if being more devout will assist your sobriety or worsen it.
  14. Winterybella

    Winterybella Community Champion

    I believe this is a case of "different strokes for different folks" or "to each his own". Generally people want to believe in something and for me it's a Divine Being. I have read stories of person who attribute their recovery to God and their strong faith. Still others who don't have a belief in God have attributed their recovery to their own determination and will power.
  15. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I don't think it's a healthy method at all, but it works for some so I guess it's good for something. I personally believe that it's much better to understand the situation in a more realistic and self aware way instead of just blaming all of your mistakes on not having a god, since I see it as a weak argument, but I understand that I also have some methods that other people might consider questionable even though it works for me so I get it.
    Winterybella likes this.
  16. serenity

    serenity Community Champion

    I think that will power can also be God-given, so if they have a strong will, then they should thank God for providing them with that trait. After all, we can't really choose our own traits anyway. So I think if a person is religious, then he is more likely to have a successful recovery because of his faith in God.
  17. wahmed

    wahmed Active Contributor

    I definitely do. I'm religious and knowing that God is listening to me during my troubles and fixing them is such a peaceful solace. I feel like I'm being healed.
  18. Nergaahl

    Nergaahl Community Champion

    I'm not a religious person, but I am a spiritual one.

    And yes, I think that a healthy body is the first step to a healthy mind and soul. This helped me a lot. I'm more of a Pantheist / free-believer so yeah.
  19. Winterybella

    Winterybella Community Champion

    Nergaahl, I want to thank you for introducing me to Pantheism. Until now I actually, had never heard of it. The conversation has provided me with much food for thought. Still I believe in God and until such time as I can make sense of something or someone more "real" I'll stick to my belief. At the end of the day recovery is the most important thing and whatever a person attributes that to, I am happy for them.
  20. Nergaahl

    Nergaahl Community Champion

    It's my pleasure. :)

    And whatever you believe in, you should always remember that if you don't believe in yourself that you are able to do it, and that the Gods are by your side in this battle, you will never make it to the end. I also believe in the help of the Ancient Powers, but I learned to respect my body and person too, not only my soul.