National Recovery Month
September is National Recovery Month. Recovery is about exercising one’s determination to improve from a physical, mental or emotional condition, often referred to as the disease of addiction/alcoholism. Since the DSM-V lists these diseases as forms of mental illness, I would argue it is safe to say we can recover from mental illnesses this month too.
Can this happen without God consciousness? Some would argue, “Yes.”
Around the 1300s, the word “recover” meant to “regain consciousness.” Back in the early 15th century, the word recovery had a different meaning too. It meant “a gaining possession of something by legal action.” That is the Latin meaning of the term “recovery” according to the Online Etymology Dictionary. Even more interesting is what the dictionary says next – “the act of righting oneself after a mishap, blunder, etc.”
A successful, peace-filled existence is certainly dependent on a person’s relationship to God. Nowadays we call it, “God consciousness.” And for those who profess knowing Christ, it is through His power we can right ourselves after making poor decisions or surviving childhood trauma.
|Author: Andy Dean Photography|
What if, as a society, we embraced the idea that we are spiritual beings intended to live our lives conscious of God’s presence? What if this idea were taught in schools today? Or, if it were a mandatory lesson in each home?
Maybe there would be less adverse childhood events for people to recover from because their daily existence would be rooted in the awareness that God is ever present and seeking our daily communion.
An awareness of God operating in one’s life and on my behalf can be a comforting thought. Some people, however, blame God for all their troubles, so forming a relationship with the Divine Source can be troublesome.
Often, it is the message of hope from other people that draws us into a solid relationship with God. Hearing God through other people happens when people share in meetings or testify in church that their lives improved because they surrendered and formed a relationship with God. It is here, in these safe spaces listening to the transparency of another’s soul that recovery is accomplished. Finding God, many times, is sustained in a group context, such as 12-step programs, faith communities and other safe spaces.
In these places, a broken soul can begin the journey to regain what was lost: peace, stability, sanity and a sense of wholeness.
Our identities are often damaged during childhood, not strengthened. The field of psychology refers to “adverse childhood events” as the cause of brokenness and poor identity formation. For those of us who have suffered damaged self-identities due to adverse childhood events, reclaiming possession of our thoughts from negative influences is a huge step in the right direction. Beginning to create a self-identity that is in harmony with one’s personal values and morals is a joyous and arduous process. It is labeled as recovery.
The same can be said when we stop harmful acts towards self in order to move into a place of wellness. Group counseling sessions, medication, bible study, prayer and meditation are great tools to sustain a person’s recovery. But, often it is the one-on-one relationship with God that lays the foundation and secures emotional stability. Wrestling with his will, understanding God’s ways and allowing God to guide us into right behavior are certainly examples of God consciousness.
It is important to note that anytime we individually pursue our recovery, we are saying to ourselves, “I have the legal and spiritual right to be happy and live at peace with myself.” We are in essence telling the disease of addiction and our naysayers that “even in my brokenness, I am worthy of being loved and demonstrating I care for myself.”
I support National Recovery Month as it seeks to honor those who are recovering from any mental disorder and disease of addiction/alcoholism. Recovery can be a lifelong process filled with many lessons, let downs and stories. But when our local and foreign communities support us, they are in essence saying, “I see you growing and it looks good on you.”
Are you doing anything to support anyone in recovery? If so, please share what you are doing in the comments section below.