Finding Purpose from Pain: How to Heal from Addiction
Life has the ability to change in an instant. A car accident happens in the blink of an eye, a house can catch fire in a matter of minutes, and a cancer diagnosis is given without warning. When our life is turned upside down in a moment’s time, our whole world is shaken to the core. Traumatic events like this can devastate families, impact our mental and/or physical health, and shake our faith in a higher power. When we experience the unthinkable, we question everything. We wonder what we could have done differently or ask God why He would let this terrible thing happen to us. Or maybe we’re struggling with a mental illness that won’t relent. We just need something, anything, to take the edge off. We may even turn to drugs and/or alcohol to numb the pain. Things like trauma and mental illness can actually make us more susceptible to addiction. When we look to substances for a solution instead of turning to our friends, family, community, or God, we push ourselves away from the people or things that can help us. Substances then become our crutch and source of comfort. We need something to fill the void. Addiction tends to cause loneliness because our shame causes us to withdraw from the people in our lives. On top of a traumatic event, mental illness, or other situation, we now have an addiction that causes us to lose control over our life and isolates us from society. Then, eventually, the consequences of addiction set in. We get a DUI, lose our job, or ruin our relationships. When we hit rock bottom, we finally realize that we have a problem. We realize that by relying on substances instead of our support network, we find that we are the ones who turned our backs on the people in our lives, not the other way around.
How Community Fosters Healing and Redemption
When we seek help, we are opening ourselves back up to our communities. However, it’s important that the people we return to are willing to accept and support us, even if that means we have to find a new group of people for support. When we are ready to reconnect with the people in our lives, we should consider reaching out to those we are close to and explaining our situation. It can be healing to share our story and get the support we need. When we turn to those closest to us or a higher power in times of need, we find a source of strength and support. Our faith and support networks provide many things that help with recovery. When we have faith and supportive people in our lives, we have a better outlook on life. If we decide to get treatment, we are surrounded by others with the same struggles and experiences. In faith-based treatment, we connect with people who even have the same beliefs. This can help us feel less alone while also experiencing support and acceptance. We can start to heal. Reconnecting with our community and spirituality during treatment allows us to receive the guidance, mentorship, and therapy we need to recover from addiction. And then we have the opportunity to pass that counsel on.
Discovering Renewed Purpose
Reconnecting to society also renews our sense of purpose. One of the things we learn in AA is the importance of service. Serving others allows us to get outside of ourselves. The void we once filled with substances can now be filled with purpose as we help others who are struggling. Our pain can be turned into something beneficial for not only ourselves but for those going through the same things. According to the Big Book, “Those events that once made me feel ashamed and disgraced now allow me to share with others how to become a useful member of the human race. (p.492)” We can pass on our experiences and our story of hope and recovery to the next person who needs it. We discover belonging and a higher purpose for our lives by sharing the wisdom and guidance we received during treatment and recovery. And when we are accountable to others, we have more resilience and strength to handle whatever comes our way. Our support network isn’t limited to our treatment group alone. When we have a home community actively supporting and praying for us, we find more purpose, motivation, and strength to continue our recovery.
Finding Our Way Back
Faith-based treatment can help us find our way back to ourselves, God, our sobriety, and our community no matter how far we’ve strayed. When we get the help we need and start serving others again, we can return to society confidently with our heads held high. We start to feel love for not only others, but also for ourselves. The service we provide others gives us a more permanent sense of well-being and connection than substances ever could. It’s important that we give ourselves the love, compassion, and forgiveness that God also provides. We must remind ourselves that we are worthy of love and respect. We find those things through Christ, ourselves, our community, and our service. God loves us unconditionally despite our flaws. Ephesians 2:2-5 says, “in which you formerly lived according to this world’s present path, according to the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the ruler of the spirit that is now energizing the sons of disobedience, among whom all of us also formerly lived out our lives in the cravings of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us, even though we were dead in transgressions, made us alive together with Christ—by grace, you are saved!”If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, there is hope through the Lord. At Calvary Healing Center, we have Christ-centered, faith-based programming that will help you reconnect to the love, hope, strength, and support that God provides while also treating the addiction. Learn more about us or get started by calling 602-279-1468.