Those having difficulty managing substance use often find themselves feeling isolated. It is a lonely place to be when struggling with something that many do not understand. Where could one turn, when they are feeling this sense of desperation? Many people across generations and nations have found one answer to this question: faith. Faith in a higher power is a step toward a sense of belonging and hope.
Faith for the Non-Believer
Not everyone goes to church. Many people don’t believe in any form of God. For some, the very thought of religion turns them off from faith and spirituality completely. Luckily, faith doesn’t always go hand in hand with formal religion.
Sometimes faith could solely be in knowing the sun will rise every morning. For some, that is their way to center. They hold their faith in that, and that secure knowledge alone can get them through difficult times.
Others may find faith in the good deeds they witness. They have faith in the good in people. This may provide a great sense of comfort for those people. A sense of hope is gained and strengthened from this.
Faith for Those Who Attend Church
More recently, communities are identifying a lack of resources for those striving to manage SUD. One strategy that seems to be becoming more common is the designation of churches as spaces to inform members on how they can support those struggling with substance misuse.
Grants have been dedicated to increasing access to recovery treatment, including faith-based treatment options. Representatives from faith-based programs receive training to promote core competencies in SUD knowledge. Grant funds may also be allocated to increase services such as access to mental health support, counseling, and other services within the faith community.
Those who may have once felt unsure about seeking a member of their church for guidance with their substance abuse may now be more open and willing to confide in such persons. Rather than feeling as though they may be turned away, or judged by a member of a church, they can find solace there. This gives them a new sense of hope and faith, where they may have felt it lost.
Having community faith leaders be knowledgeable about identifying crises within mental health and substance use realms have also been found to be a positive movement for communities. When faith leaders know what to look for and can support individuals in an accurate and supportive manner, this opens doors for many more recovery options.
Faith for Those Unsure
What about those who don’t know what they think or feel about faith? Those who may be feeling lost in general? This is common among people with SUD.
In early recovery, some naturally find a sense of faith. It can come naturally to many at some point throughout their experience. For others, they must search for it. Either way, some form of faith may be established. If not, many continue their journey feeling as though something may be missing.
Some people start taking walks as part of their recovery. Being more aware of their surroundings and being more attentive to the sounds they hear in nature can be healing. They find a new appreciation for the sense they are experiencing in a new way. Their faith may be rooted in the beauty of the natural world.
For others, a spiritual awakening will occur. They may feel the presence of something greater than themselves. Their journey may spark an experience that leads them to a new sense of faith.
Destiny Recovery Center offers opportunities to participate in faith-based activities for those who wish to do so, no matter what higher power they believe in.
Faith and Recovery
So how does one’s faith or lack of faith impact recovery? When someone has a connection to something greater than themselves, they often feel part of a bigger picture. They may feel a sense of obligation or duty to this greater purpose.
Those who have a strong connection to nature may want to stay clear-minded so they may continue to enjoy the experience. For those who have had a spiritual experience, they may strive to maintain this newfound centeredness to continue to grow in their spiritual world. Meanwhile, the ones who have found their faith within their community and other people might want to continue to develop that connection.
In all of these circumstances, the energy, the pull to maintain sobriety, is greater than the draw to take a step back. Maintaining their sobriety is now almost a secondary benefit to the emotions and connection they have established with their faith. It all becomes intertwined, and faith practices become natural and habitual.
When a sense of belonging becomes ingrained, this is faith. This faith can continue to grow and support those dedicated to their recovery. They may find that their faith rewards them in a multitude of ways, and they may someday decide to share their faith with others.
Finding a higher power, whether it be religiously affiliated, nature, or a community that you are a part of, can strengthen the power of sobriety within yourself. Having a connection to something greater than yourself impacts success in recovery as well as life. Knowing you can count on this higher power offers a kind of support and motivation you may never have imagined for yourself. Destiny Recovery Center can help you in identifying and/or strengthening your individual connection to something greater. Without judgment or persuasion, we can give you the tools you need to establish your own sense of faith. Call us today at (909) 413-4304 to learn more about how we can impact your recovery journey.