Overcome Spiritual Bankruptcy in Recovery with Gratitude as Your Guide

Recovery is often deemed synonymous with spirituality.  It is common to hear people misdefine AA, drug treatment, and recovery as a religious program. One of the reasons for this is because up until 70 years ago spirituality was synonymous with religion.  But if you read our last blog post, you understand that spirituality and religion are entirely different practices.


The difference between religion and spirituality


Here is a quick recap you can define


Religion as an organized system of ritual and belief practiced by numerous people together in dedication and devotion.


On the other hand


Spirituality is your individual path of personal growth and transcendence.  Not only is spirituality an individual process but a way to recognize and connect with a power greater than ourselves and the desire to communicate with others.


Spiritual Bankruptcy


When you first come into recovery, you might hear the phrase spiritually bankrupt which means to lose connection with your moral compass. Your addiction forced you to focus upon one goal-to find time to use without regard to your duty to your family, friends, colleagues, dreams, goals, or aspirations.




Realign yourself with your moral compass with gratitude


One way to disconnect spirituality from religion is by practicing gratitude. So if you are still hung up on spirituality or have disavowed religious practices of any kind you can still work a spiritual program.  


It is important to remember that addiction is not a spiritual problem, but the recovery has spiritual elements. Therefore it can be referred to as a spiritual program. Recovery is personal growth. Spirituality will help guide your shaping yourself into a person with good moral character.


A daily practice of gratitude can lead your recovery from addiction onto a spiritual path of virtue.  Essentially gratitude allows you to sidestep the need to define your recovery as a spiritual program.


When living a life of gratitude you align yourself with several elements or components missing from your life. These elements were missing when you were actively using or spiritually bankrupt.


1- When you are grateful you begin to understand what is meaningful in your life.  


Humans struggle to understand their sense of purpose in life. Taking time to be grateful for what you have and what makes you happy helps you know your intent. Therefore the act of being grateful helps you to find the meaning in your life and results in longer sustained recovery outcomes.  


2- Contributing, helping, and connecting with sober support.


Research has shown that when you extend yourself to help others in recovery, you feel a great sense of well-being. Residing in a sober living home creates an opportunity to live, support, and share responsibility. Daily activities with peers searching for the same goal, become a catalyst for experiencing the joy and happiness of serving others. Paying back the help others extended towards you when you first arrived in a sober living house allows you to show your gratitude. In expressing your gratitude, you strengthen your sense of purpose and establish life-long peers of sober support.  


3- Creating Community


Taking contributing a step further, you will see that when you are grateful to do your part, your actions create community. Addiction creates isolation in your life, and separation does not fulfill your human need to belong. Communing with others, especially during early recovery enables you to see the benefits and rewards. Taking time to express gratitude towards these welcoming moments allows you to relive the experience and crave more positive outcomes and relationships with others in recovery.


4- Accountability


Learning to be accountable for your actions allows you to take responsibility for faulty behaviors and actions. Understanding your behavior through gratitude alleviates the stress, discomfort, and shame associated with irrational behaviors. Owning up to right and wrong to yourself and your loved ones helps you to be accountable and mindful to the actions you need to change on an ongoing basis.


5- Practicing gratitude creates a greater sense of well-being


Connecting to gratitude daily through reflection establishes positive outcomes. When you are grateful you are less stressed and depressed, you’ll find a greater sense of belonging within your sober living home, recovery community, and in the world.


Taking time to reflect on what you are grateful for each day removes the sense of negative emotions while allowing you to take notice of all of life’s little gifts and positive aspects presently working within your life.


6-Gratitude journaling creates time to be mindful of your recovery


Mindfulness and meditation improve addiction treatment, sober living, and recovery outcomes. Taking time to reflect upon your day through journaling opens the door to being more spiritual. A spiritual reflection is a personal event that can be practiced anywhere.


Practicing gratitude journaling is a process of being mindful of your daily activities and how these behaviors aligned with your sense of purpose.

Taking inventory of how you acted, what you said, what you are grateful for and what you feel you need to express more in life are important to personal growth and your program for recovery.


Gratitude as your spiritual path in recovery


Recovery involves reconnecting to the people, places, and events in your life. Establishing a process for personal growth through affirmative action and behavior changes. The changes found in recovery are often said to spiritual in nature.


During early recovery, you don’t have to let your confusion between religion and spiritual harm your progress of personal growth. You can develop a daily practice of gratitude.


You can overcome spiritual bankruptcy with gratitude. Gratitude can be your spiritual program creating progress and purpose in a life of long-term sustained recovery.


Are you struggling with the concept of spirituality in your process for recovery? The Lighthouse Sober Living Recovery Coaching 365 Program can assist you or a loved one in creating a personal plan of long-term recovery, sober living in Connecticut, and long-term commitment to recovery with recovery coaching.

Reach out to us by clicking here or calling 203-246-9435.


We’d like to know how your program for recovery expresses your personal growth and spirituality?  Leave us a comment on Facebook or Linkedin.