If you or someone you love has suffered from an addiction, you know that recovery can be incredibly difficult. Unfortunately, many addictions are common today, from drugs, alcohol, and pornography, to even something more subtle, like food or comfort. Recovery is far from an immediate process, and the difficulty of healing can unfortunately lead to despair and hopelessness.
Foundationally, the spiritual life can provide us with great insight on how to overcome and combat addiction without falling into despair. (In fact, many recovering addicts report that spiritual health is important in the recovery process.) With that in mind, here are three spiritual tips to begin the healing process.
Cultivate the Virtue of Humility
The first step to recovery from addiction is recognizing there is a need for recovery. Relatedly, the first step in growing in all virtue is cultivating humility. Humility helps someone suffering from an addiction to not only realize that there is something wrong, but also that help, both from God and others, is necessary for healing. Humility further allows someone suffering from addiction to ask for that help, and to keep trying, even after failure.
How is humility cultivated? Simply praying for the graces of humility is a great starting point. We can also cultivate a humble heart and a genuine desire for change by recognizing our own brokenness and limits. To ensure that doesn’t lead to despair, it is also vital to recognize that God is all-powerful and all-loving, and that He desires to heal us!
Live in Holy Community
Just as community is essential in living a Christian life, it also is in recovering from addiction. Our environment molds who we are. If we want to truly pursue God, we must find others who do the same. If we want to be free from addiction, we must find friends who want what’s best for us and are free to love us for who we are.
Practically, when recovering from addiction, being alone makes it easier to succumb to temptation, whereas being around others helps to keep behavior in check. Therefore, it’s helpful for one suffering from addiction to be surrounded with saintly people who can serve as beacons of encouragement and accountability partners.
Maintain A Prayer Life
Routine, and a daily schedule, also helps us to put ourselves in the right environment. The foundation for any of our schedules must be daily prayer. Maintaining a daily prayer schedule keeps our perspective on God, allowing us to truly develop a relationship with Him and recognize His love for us. Understanding that He wills our good in all circumstances helps us to wholeheartedly will our own good. Through relationship with God, the source of all healing, healing from addiction can occur.
Overcoming addiction is not easy, but humility, community, and prayer can help someone suffering from addiction to grow in spiritual health and connect to the One who can heal all wounds!