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Alcoholism and Addiction as an Illness

“An illness of this sort – and we have come to believe it an illness – involves those about us in a way no other human sickness can.  If a person has cancer all are sorry for him and no on is angry or hurt.  But not so with the alcoholic illness, for with it there goes annihilation of all the things worth while in life.  It engulfs all whose lives touch the sufferer’s.” – The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 18

Many times, when we are drinking and/or using, our behavior does not inspire empathy and compassion though we are, without question, sick.  Our illness does not resemble the diseases we are aware of, the ones that allow us to feel sympathy for the one who is ill.  Our illness, the illness of alcoholism and addiction, has a tendency to inspire frustration, anger, hurt feelings and, more often that not, disappointment by anyone with whom we come in contact.  Our close friends and family, our loved ones, our partners, our children, may not feel sorry for us; they may, in fact, be angry and have had experience after experience that leaves them feeling let down once again.

So, what has to be done to treat this illness?  Essentially, it is a sickness of spirit.  What must we do to medicate our condition and invigorate our spiritual health?

This drug rehabilitation center just outside of Los Angeles, is surrounded by an abundance of beauty.  What might this have to do with our spirits you ask?  When we are immersed in sunshine, fresh air, mountains, beautiful views, sunsets and starry nights, the beauty of the world, we are given the opportunity to reconnect with nature.  In and through nature is one way to reconnect with the spirit of the world, which in turn helps us connect to the essence of our own spirits and then we are able to connect to the spirits of others.  And, it is in this last connection, the one between us and others, which is where we really begin to move away from sickness and disease and move toward living a healthy life, recovering from the illness of alcoholism and addiction.

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