Return to Sanity and Soundness of Mind
Addiction has the power to take control of an individual to the point where their whole life is centered around the substance of their choice. This world of insanity leads the addict to a place where they have a hard time differentiating true from false. Their perception is skewed and they lose interest in anything and everything that was ever important to them.
Dr. William Silkworth introduced the idea that alcoholism involves a physical allergy and an obsession of the mind (Alcoholics Anonymous, p. xxiv). This means that when you want to stop using entirely you cannot, and when you use you have little control over the amount you take. The disease of addiction is a twofold illness that can be overcome by a “spiritual experience” or “spiritual awakening” found by working 12 steps in a program of recovery. This process can return the addict to sanity. The word sanity is derived from the Latin root sanitas, which means whole or healthy. A sane person is one who is stable, healthy and whole with a sound personality. Working a 12-step program of action gives addicts and alcoholics the opportunity to return to sanity and wholeness of mind.
“What is a Spiritual Experience?”
A “spiritual experience” is the solution to the disease of addiction. This psychic transformation involves a personality change that is sufficient enough to remove the obsession to use. Dr. Carl Jung said alcoholics could solve the drink problem if they had “vital spiritual experiences,” or huge emotional rearrangements and displacements (Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 27).
Seeking a psychic change through working all 12 steps will remove the obsession to use. In addition to freedom from active addiction, taking this action will restore the addicted person to sanity and soundness of mind. This shift in feelings, emotions and outlook on life moves the recovering addict from a life filled with self to dependence and a belief in something greater than themselves.
Signs of a Spiritual Awakening
A sense of a connection with nature and others around you.
The capacity to truly enjoy every moment.
An ability to act spontaneously in the moment rather than acting out of fear from past experiences.
An overwhelming feeling of gratitude and appreciation.
Constant smiling attacks.
Developing the ability to unconditionally love without wanting anything in return.
A sudden loss in the need to argue or be in conflict with others.
A loss in the capacity to worry.
A loss in the need to judge others.
A loss in the desire to judge self.
Losing the interest in disrupting the actions of others.
Letting things happen, as opposed to making them happen.
This is what your life will be like once you have gone through the transformation. Don’t be discouraged if this doesn’t happen overnight. Many “spiritual experiences” are of the “educational variety,” meaning they take place over time. Perception changes gradually while attitudes and outlooks become more positive as the addict takes the necessary actions of recovery. Friends and family will often see the change in the recovering addict long before they notice a change in themselves.