In recent years there has been a increasing interest in and recognition of the role that spirituality can and does play in maintaining health and recovery from many conditions.  The addiction field is one where spirituality has been common for decades.  Even before Alcoholics Anonymous addiction was believed to be a moral or spiritual problem that could be cured by divine intervention or conversion to a more religious life.  That approach tended to go out of fashion when addiction was labelled as a disease.

Walking on water at sunset

Bill Wilson (or Bill W), one of the founders of AA was taken to a meeting of the Oxford Group, which was a religious group of the time.  At these meetings he discovered two things.  First, he found sobriety and secondly, he found the core principles of the AA program.  When he wrote the book of Alcoholics Anonymous these spiritual principles were at the core of the program of recovery that has helped many people throughout the world.  However, despite this recognition of the role of spirituality by AA and others, the medical and secular world gave little credence to spirituality as a force for positive change until fairly recently.

Some of the most interesting medical research in recent times has looked at the effect of spirituality in people with terminal disease.  In general terms it has been found that people who profess to having a strong spiritual element to their lives have a better quality of life than those without a spiritual belief.  Specifically, they have been found to have lower anxiety, lower depression, more optimism and inner peace.  It has also been found that some have reduced pain and even greater longevity.  Findings such as these have prompted interest in the effect of spirituality on a more widespread areas of health and, of course, addiction.

Bottled-up is not a religious website and does not promote any religion or faith.  However, both the authors have a strong spiritual life that sustains and inspires them.  I (John) was first introduced (or reintroduced) to a spiritual path in AA.  Looking back, I can honestly say that I was dragged kicking and screaming to a program that I saw as having no place in my life.  However, fear of returning to drinking made me look at what was on offer.  My spirituality and beliefs have changed considerably over the years, but I can honestly say that it gives my life meaning and purpose and has helped me through some very difficult times in my life (bereavements, divorce, change of jobs, countries and homes).  But it is not just the band aid for my life, booze filled that role, it brings so many positives and freedom that I would not have believed.

Lou, being a pastor’s daughter resisted the idea of faith for quite a few years.  However, now she will tell you that her strong experience of Father God as a loving, healing Person is both the source of her well-being and the fuel that motivates her.

In Bottled-up we hope to introduce you to resources that will help you and help you to change your life.  A spiritual life is one of those resources.