Written by Valiant Living Recovery on Friday, February 7th, 2020
Families that have strong ties to religion may wonder why their loved one cannot get sober by simply using the religious guidelines they are meant to adhere to. Religion can create a difference of opinion in conversations, provoke undue judgments, and deter someone who wants to get sober away from their family and friends if they feel pressured to put their faith in divinity. Trying to get someone sober by posing your beliefs on them will most likely cause them to cringe at the thought of using religion as their means to recover – even if they have been religiously affiliated their entire life.
Many people who live a life that includes drug and alcohol addiction have a hard time connecting to a Higher Power, or whatever their religion dictates because they have a low opinion of themselves. Rather than use the religious guidelines, they just make them feel bad about the addictive behaviors they are displaying and tend to make them recoil from the whole experience knowing they are not living up their potential.
Instead of using the resources offered in church, a person chronically under the influence will steer clear of going to church or being around people in the church considering they feel like they do belong around such righteous people. Although there are plenty of other “sinners” within their religious affiliation, they believe they are the worst ones of the bunch.
Sadly, not everyone wants to religiously believe what their family believes. The religious aspects that they grew up obligated to be a part of will probably not be the aspect that will get them to become sober. Recovery is based on a spiritual program that is meant to be suggestive only which may be more appealing than having to follow the rules of their religion. Having the ability to live in their own spiritual beliefs can better direct them into their recovery than feeling like they are being told what to do.
Your religious convictions may be extremely important to you, but they can be overwhelming to someone who is trying to get sober because they feel they have failed their family one more time with their lack of religious belief. Not to mention, someone who feels like they are failing also feels judged by their loved ones which become counterproductive to what religion is trying to demonstrate. If you are trying to convince your loved one to get sober based on your religious belief, most likely, you may only alienate them back into their addiction which they have deemed their current religion.
First and foremost, by using the concept of love and tolerance that many religions promote while also setting healthy boundaries, you are demonstrating a better example for them. Ask to speak to the religious leader of your church to be advised on how to handle the situation. Your mission is to be able to draw your loved one out without confrontation to allow them, and yourself, to see the truth in the situation. Sometimes, people who want to help their loved ones to get sober are too emotionally tied in and are not apt to see how their behavior may unintentionally be adding fuel to fire. Enabling, codependency and religious know-it-all conduct could push someone away more than it will actually help them. The best thing you can do for your own sanity is to seek help for yourself within the church, with a therapist, or an interventionist. When you get help for yourself, you will be able to help them in a better manner than if you were trying to aid them without the proper education regarding addiction.
As you are trying to find treatment for your loved one’s addiction, you should have them in mind overall. Although you are definitely affected by their addiction, they can only get sober for themselves. The basis of their recovery should focus on how well they respond to the treatment. If they have withdrawn from your religious beliefs already, most likely, they will do the same in a rehab that centers around religion. You should take into account what their addiction entails along with any abuse or trauma that has pushed them towards drugs or alcohol as the solution to their problems. You really want a place where they can get real about their addiction without worrying about whether they will disappoint you in any way. Chances are once they get through the rehabilitation process and back into real-life recovery, they will be more focused on spiritual principles which is a move in the right direction.
Offering a full range of recovery and mental health services, Valiant Living offers “Expanded Recovery” to enrich our clients’ lives in mind, body, and spirit. Through evidence-based therapy options and the endless adventure of Colorado, Valiant fosters connection, encouraging clients to get connected to themselves, their peers, their families, and their higher power. With the power of recovery, clients are restored to full health and experience life-changing healing. Call us today for more information: 303-536-5463