How to overcome addiction through God means possible ways in which one can Succeed in dealing with a condition of being addicted to a particular activity through God’s help.Addiction can come in a variety of different forms, but no matter what you’re struggling with, there’s a way out. If you believe in God, relying on your faith can be a really important part of your recovery. We’re here to help you understand more about how God can help you overcome your addiction and make your recovery journey a successful one.
Section 1 of 10:
Does it matter what God I believe in?
If you believe in a higher power, that faith can help you in recovery.
You might believe that the higher power is the God of Christianity, Allah of Islam, G_d of Judaism, or one of the Hindu gods. You might even have come to your own understanding of God that can’t really be defined by a certain religion. We’re here to help you reach out to the God that you believe in as you start on your recovery journey to heal from addiction.
Your faith will help define God’s role in your recovery.
Your faith in God can give you strength in guidance on your recovery journey. However, this can look a little different, depending on how you see God.
If you’re a Christian, you might lean on God’s love for you and His desire for you to become more Christ-like.
If you’re Jewish, you might find that the power to overcome your addiction comes from surrendering your life to G_d.
If you follow Hinduism, you might find the willpower to give up your addiction by living in harmony with the world around you.
As a follower of Islam, you might draw inspiration from the idea that you must have a clear and healthy mind in order to serve Allah.
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What is addiction?
Addictions can be anything that prevents you from being fully present.
If you feel like you don’t have control over something in your life to the point that it’s having a harmful impact on you, that’s an addiction. Sure, some addictions are the big ones—drugs and alcohol, gambling, sex, and so on. But they can also be addictive behaviors or cravings that consume you to the point that it interferes with your life. These might include:
Binge-eating or food restriction
Overuse of technology
Working too much
Engaging in risky behaviors
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Will having faith make recovery easier?
Maybe—although faith can occasionally become a barrier to recovery.
Sometimes we expect faith in God to automatically fix everything for us, including things like addiction and illness. Unfortunately, that’s not the case—even people with a very deep faith can find themselves struggling with addiction. If you’re concerned about judgment from your family, friends, or church group, you may be reluctant to ask for help.
You might also find it hard to turn to God for help if you find yourself feeling angry or disappointed that your faith didn’t prevent your addiction in the first place.
That said, faith can be a powerful support as you overcome addiction.
Relying on your faith may help you have lower anxiety and more hope as you journey on the road to recovery from addiction. Faith is very personal, so the exact way that it helps you can vary.
You may feel encouraged if you believe that God loves and supports you. You might also believe that God wants to see you reach your full potential.
You may find that surrendering your life to God gives you the moral framework you need to push past cravings.
The support system that comes along with faith in God—your church family, priest, or imam, for instance—can also aid you on your journey to overcoming addiction.
Your faith might inspire you to consider how your addiction impacts the people around you, especially your family and closest loved ones.
Try not to get discouraged if the path is hard.
Even if you have faith in God, you might still struggle with temptation or backslide in your addiction. Try not to get discouraged if that happens! Life is all about growing, and hard times are an important part of that.
Instead of looking for a quick fix, allow faith to help you shape your life in a way that helps you become increasingly resistant to your addiction.
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How do I start on the path to recovery?
Acknowledge your addiction to yourself and others.
Take a good look at how your addiction is interfering with your life—is it costing you money, time, or relationships with the people you love? Is it creating a sense of anger or self-loathing? Or maybe it’s preventing you from doing things you should be doing, like working, socializing, paying your bills, or spending time with your children.
It might sound simple, but recognizing that there’s a problem is often the hardest step on your recovery journey.
Once you can admit to yourself that you have an addiction, tell someone you trust, like a church elder or a close friend. Talking about it will help it feel real that you have a problem and intend to do something about it.
Decide to make a change.
No matter how much support or faith you have, you’re the only person who can make this decision. It can take a little time, though—it often takes a few attempts to successfully kick an addiction, so don’t get discouraged. Just keep leaning into your faith and working toward your recovery.
Some experts recommend seeing the recovery process as a 5-year journey. There may be setbacks along the way, but if you are committed to improving, your life can look totally different 5 years from now.
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Using Faith to Support Your Recovery
Research what your faith says about healing and recovery from hardship.
The major texts and tenets of your faith will provide an important part of the motivation and inspiration you’ll need to sustain your recovery journey. You can also talk to your priest, imam, or rabbi for spiritual guidance, appropriate rituals, and meaningful passages you should read. For example:
In Christianity, you might find it helpful to read verses like 1 Corinthians 10:13: “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
If you’re a Muslim, you might meditate on God’s healing power by reading verses like, “And when I fall ill, so it is He Who heals me” (Ash-Shu’ara’ – The Poets – 26:80)
If you’re a follower of Judaism, you might focus on core values like tzmichat i’shit, which helps you cultivate the ability to grow and transform.
If you’re Hindu, you might incorporate a daily meditation practice as a way to get in touch with your body, mind, spirit, and deity.
Make notes so you can remember what you found most impactful.
As you study your religious texts, talk to elders in your faith, and deepen your relationship with God, it can help to keep a journal. Write down anything that especially appeals to you, and read back on it as you go through difficult periods, like withdrawals or painful changes.
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Get help from a licensed therapist who specializes in addiction.
Even if you’re relying on your faith, that doesn’t mean you have to overcome your addiction on your own. Qualified support is a really important part of recovery. Traditional addiction treatments have been shown time and time again to help people recover from an addiction. Trust that God has guided the experts to hone their skills to the point that they’re qualified to improve your life situation.
Consider choosing a faith-based therapist or treatment center if there’s one available near you. If you live in an area where your religion is not prominent, you might see a non-affiliated therapist, then get additional guidance from a pastor, rabbi, yogi, or imam.
For addictions like alcoholism, eating disorders, and drug use, you may need to enter a formal treatment program.
In-house care can sometimes help with severe addictions. If you can’t find a faith-based recovery center near you, bring your faith’s holy text so you can meditate on God’s will for you while you work through the program.
Join a support group for more help.
Some people find inspiration from joining a faith-based group like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. While these aren’t explicitly associated with the Christian religion, they do align most closely with that faith, but many people find they can tailor the message to their own specific beliefs. However, you could also talk to other members of your religion or search online to find a support group that will work with your faith.
You might also find support by attending your place of faith more regularly.
Spend time around healthy people.
It’s really hard to work your own recovery if you’re still spending time around people who encourage or enable you to fall back into your addiction. Instead, prioritize spending time with people who make you feel empowered to overcome any temptations.
Similarly, you may need to avoid places or things that you associate with your addiction, as these could trigger a relapse.
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Dealing with Addiction Cravings
Learn new coping mechanisms.
Most addictions arise as a way to escape something that’s uncomfortable for you. Unfortunately, that means that when you start giving up that addiction, you have to face those uncomfortable feelings, sometimes for the first time. That can potentially tempt you to fall back into your addiction. Luckily, by learning how to better deal with your stress triggers, you may be able to side-step that temptation. Some ideas include:
Pray, meditate, or use a gratitude or mindfulness practice when you feel overwhelmed. Ask your higher power to help you overcome your craving.
See a faith-based counselor if you have anxiety or depression that triggers you to turn to your addiction.
Occupy yourself by reading your faith text of choice or spending time around other people who believe the way you do.
Turn to your faith for strength.
Read over any passages, words, or sayings that you wrote down that you found meaningful. Return to those as often as you need to so you can keep your willpower strong.
Try writing down your favorite passage, then put it somewhere you’ll see it when you might be tempted. For instance, if you always want a cigarette in the car after work, you might tape an inspirational verse to your dashboard.
Distract yourself with something healthy.
Maybe that means having lunch with a friend from church, or maybe it’s taking a walk in nature. It might mean reading a book instead of going out for a drink, or stopping to recite birkhot hanehenim instead of logging into your online gambling account. If you occupy your mind with something else, the craving should pass.
Be gentle with yourself if you backslide.
Most people who are in recovery will relapse at some point. If it happens to you, it doesn’t mean your recovery journey is over, so don’t give up. It’s just a sign that you’re human. Be proud of yourself for how far you’ve come, and keep trying.
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