Higher Power


For most, recovery from addiction requires help from others, medications, or other resources. For some, religious beliefs and spirituality play an important role in their recovery. These are all part of a “Higher Power,” the term used by the 12-step fellowship. Your Higher Power does not have to be religious or spiritual… just whatever helps to keep you thriving in your recovery.

To the degree you need help, you are “powerless” over your addiction. That does not mean, however, that you are powerless, as you still have the power to ask for help. You are not powerless when accessing a greater power outside of yourself.

How do you experience your “Higher Power?” Ask yourself how you experience:

  • Love
  • Goodness
  • Grace
  • Forgiveness
  • Beauty
  • Healing
  • Hope
  • Gratitude
  • Kindness
  • The consequences of your behavior—positive and negative (Karma)
  • The Sacred

Note the ways you concretely experience these aspects of your Higher Power. This is part of your spiritual practice. This is how you experience “God,” if you wish to use this term.

You may wonder if you can work with your cravings to become strong enough to reduce your use and not abstain entirely. You may question whether you can stop one addiction but not others. For the vast majority of people, the effects of addicting on the brain require that they abstain from all addictive drugs or behaviors. Addicting will only rekindle the wildfire of addiction. “Moderate use” is obtainable only by those rare few who have little or no biological dependence severity, calling into question whether they have an addiction.

As you develop your recovery skills, make it your goal to recover from all addictive substances and behaviors, including cigarettes and food. This is “True Recovery.” Remind yourself daily that your life is sacred, that each day is a gift. Life is fleeting. You don’t want to harm yourself. See that addicting harms you and prevents you from living life on life’s terms.

Each day, reach out and access your Higher Power as you experience it. Combine your intention to recover with a humble surrender to the loving forces outside of you that sustain your transformation from addicting to loving.