Friday, June 7, 2013

Spiritual People Get Sick Too

Chris Newcomb, M.Div.

What if God was like one of us?  This is a very deep and interesting question.  It is also a question that is asked in the famous pop song 'One of Us' by Joan Osbourne.  What does religion and/or spirituality have to do with detox from alcohol and drugs you might ask?  Very simply, because we had a professional spiritual person of a major religion detox with us yesterday off of opiates.

We live in a pluralistic, diverse society with many shades and tones, beliefs and values, and ideas about life and how things should be.  Without being partial to any one belief, I think we can all agree that we want a better planet, better relationships and a happier life for all residents on this rock we call Earth.  After agreement to those ideas, things splinter pretty quickly about how to achieve those high ideals.  For example, politically speaking, Socialism says one thing while Democracy says another.  From a religious perspective, Buddhism teaches the 8 Fold Path while Christianity teaches the 8 Beatitudes while Secular Humanism teaches the advancement of the human race via the scientific method and is non-theistic, that is belief that there is no higher power running things.  Dizzying isn't it?!? Hang on, I'm going to clear it up for you. 

Substance abuse doesn't care who you are or what you believe.  All substances need is a cooperative human brain for them to carry out their destructive influence.  This includes people of all nationalities, gender, sexual orientation, religious preference, or non-religious preference.  It includes those we might term 'spiritual people' too.  

While there is no definitive definition for the term 'spiritual', most people see 'spiritual' as something separate from religion.  However, the two can be intertwined.  You can be a spiritual person who happens to follow the religious teachings of Jesus.  You could be a spiritual person who happens to follow the religious teachings of Muhammad in Islam.  Perhaps you consider yourself a spiritual person who follows the religious teachings of the Buddha.  Point being, even atheists and agnostics can fall into the broad category of 'spiritual' people because 'spiritual' people adhere to a 'higher ideal' of life and behavior.  For atheists and agnostics, it is the higher ideals of ethics and fair treatment to all people.  So, what does this have to do with the "clergy-person" who was detoxed yesterday with us?  I'm glad you asked!  For religious people, it's the higher morality that their particular religion espouses. 

Even spiritual, moral, ethical, high ideal focused people can get sick.  Many who feel that they would define themselves by one of those terms also have an addiction and are scared to death that someone might find out.  A.A. says that alcoholism is turned around through a 'spiritual solution.'  In loose terms, that means that everyone needs help getting clean from alcohol and drugs if they are an addict or alcoholic.  It is also ok if they happen to identify themselves as a spiritual person.  The two are not mutually exclusive.  

Perhaps you are a spiritually-minded person.  Maybe you are an atheist or agnostic with high ethical ideals for equality and scientific elucidation to improve our world.  And, maybe, you have a deep, dark secret no one knows about.  Perhaps you're afraid that once you're found out people won't see you as a 'good' person or a 'ethical' or even 'spiritual' person.  That's nonsense.  Don't let other people's opinions keep you from the help that you need.  And once you're detoxed, you might find that your spirituality or high ethical ideals end up saving your life and your quality of life.  They can work together.  They have and they will for that patient who has gone back to living their life.  Why don't you consider joining them?  I think you'll be glad you did.  Until then, may you find the freedom of sobriety and the peace and joy of recovery.  

At The Coleman Institute, you matter to us!  We are here to serve you however we can.  If you or someone you love is in need of detox from alcohol, drugs, benzos, Suboxone, or Methadone, please do not hesitate to call Jennifer Pius or Amy Stewart at 1-877-773-3869.

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