Friday, August 21, 2009

Connecting with God through our addictions

Did you know that one of the major reasons why we become addicted to anything, food, alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling, smoking, etc. is because that substance or behavior helps us to connect to God, or the feeling of God?It is undeniably true. We search for an addiction that will give us that "hit", that "feeling" of being one with something greater than ourselves. And every addiction known to man does exactly just that.The first or second drink for the alcoholic is literally an experience of heaven, just like the first or second drag off of a cigarette, or the first big bite of a piece of cake, or the first or second line of cocaine to the drug addict.

In each of these cases, there is a direct feeling of "ahhhhhhhhhh, now we'll be OK."As a gratefully recovering alcoholic and drug addict, I know firsthand that feeling of connecting with God through my substances of choice. I felt free, relaxed, at ease, and even confident with my wine in hand, or the lines of coke on the table. Even the thought of doing a line, would make me feel excited, ready to feel the oneness with divinity, where all is good. Pouring that glass of wine, and the feeling that came while finishing the first, and looking forward to the second, was heaven.

If I was on the beach, listening to the water, feeling the sun on my skin as it was setting, holding my wine like a sacred nectar, would signal the end of a day, time to fully let go and surrender to the "perfect " life. We all know that the perfect life is divine, divinity itself.But there is a catch. For all addicts, that "ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh " feeling was short lived. After that first piece of cake, or cigarette, the chase to find the "ahhhh", the futile chase would begin. And, it would never be found. "Chasing the dragon", a phrase used by many drug addicts, signaled the truth....we were chasing our own demise. You see, that feeling is short lived, and is a false sense of a connection that we are searching for. The second or third drink cannot bring back the original moment that we felt finally relaxed, so we would have another, and another, but to no avail.We now were addicted to chasing, but never catching, that divine feeling again.

And the race was on. A false and frustrating sense of security was being chased, as we tried to fill a void with a substance or behavior that will never ever fill it.The void we are trying to fill is the void of love, or God, or our higher power. The reason why all successful recovery programs, including the one I personally run, include a spiritual component of some kind, is because the only option for anyone struggling with any addiction is to surrender to a higher power, who some call God.While we all do find this feeling of a higher power initially through our addictions believe it or not, it will never stay.

However, when we find what we are looking for through a recovery program, that feeling can stay longer and longer. And, we won't be killing ourselves, and destroying relationships in the process.Yes, while all addictions lead us to the feeling of invincibility, divinity, or God right here on earth, thank goodness there is another way to find that same connection.If you or someone you know is struggling with any form of addiction, please contact me as soon as possible, or any other recovery program. There is so much help available, don't wait another day to find it.Slow down.

Love, peace,Rev. David