What is the 3 Fold Disease of Alcoholism & Addiction

By sticking closely to the original message of recovery, we of AEA are not only relieved from addictive eating and food obsession, we have found a life that is happy, joyous and free. In addiction, my mind was a burden, a curse that appeared to have its own power over me. I may have had good intentions, but my mind would direct my behavior. Now, my mind is something I can watch without compulsion; it is a tool that I work with to align my intentions with my behavior. Yes, I need my practices – indeed I feel commanded to perform them – for without them my mind narrows. As I began to heal, the practices of Judaism, such as prayer, study, and teshuvah , began to take on new meaning.

It is not easy to do so but recognizing this aspect of alcoholism forces us to take an honest look in the mirror at our behaviors and attitudes toward life and other people. A spiritual malady can manifest itself in many different ways. For some, it may manifest as a feeling of being disconnected from others or as a sense of emptiness. For others, it may manifest as anger, anxiety, or depression.

Addiction Treatment Options

They do not understand why it is being suggested they read a book they believe to be for alcoholics. It is our experience that the problem is not the substance; the problem is the disease of addiction. We have also found that the disease of addiction is not limited to any one substance and that to be sober we need to be free from all mind-altering substances.

spiritual malady aa

We had limited control over behaviour at times due to intoxication and acted on occasion in a way that shames us today. In order to fully recover from alcoholism, addiction and addictive behaviours, we find we have to trust at least one other human being. AA’s 12 steps are a spiritual program of recovery but at the heart of that spirituality is the role of sponsoring.

Lakehouse Recovery Center

Seeing the same traits that were harmful before, turn to assets and lead to a more incredible life is often the first thing that attracts newer members to recovery. I have sought refuge from my negative emotions in alcohol, drugs and other addictive behaviours. It is this that propelled my addictions, this inability to deal with my negative emotions. I dealt with them externally via addictive behaviours, not spiritual malady internally via emotion processing. One of the earliest studies on AA members concluded that they were linked in commonality by two variables, emotional immaturity and grandiosity! I would contend that grandiosity is a part of emotional immaturity. I also contend that our “maladjustment to life” is based on emotional immaturity which is in itself a function of emotion regulation and processing deficits.

When I began to learn AA’s 12-Steps as a suggested program of spiritual healing, renewal, and change (i.e., recovery), I began to realize that I could explicitly understand Jewish practice from the same perspective. That is to say, daily Jewish spiritual practices are also intended to heal, renew and affect change. When I was in my own personal cycle of addiction, I was struggling with coping with the challenges of my career, marriage, and my own personal development. I did not know how to integrate my career identity with my personal identity in a healthy way; I did not know how to work through questions and problems in my marriage; and I did not know how to feel at home with myself. I knew I wanted to grow into becoming a better and more whole person, but did not know how to talk about it. I knew I wanted to feel spiritually rooted and connected, but I did not know where to turn nor did I believe anyone could help me get there. Due to the nature of frequent episodes of powerlessness over our behavior, attached to addiction and alcoholism, we often acted in a way we would never act in sobriety.

A Higher Power and Our Spiritual Awakening

I share my feelings of shame with those who know what that feels like. When I am in fear and shame the same pattern of negative reactions entrap my heart in its’ poisonous grip and I react in a way I would not choose to, if more reasonable. I related and all my negative emotions retreated to source like a evening tide on a beach. I am not only fearful I have reacted to their arrival via shame based defence mechanisms and reactions. I am shamed and disgusted that my neighourhood has come to this. I am dismissive of them, intolerant, impatient and arrogant towards them. Instead of acting on my upset by saying to someone, you have hurt my feelings I do the opposite, I react and attack them in my head, my thoughts, my words and sometimes in my actions.