“AS WITH ANY OTHER ADDICTION, my overzealous religious practice came with a dark side.” Elizabeth Esther chronicles her journey as a religious addict and her road back to recovery in SPIRITUAL SOBRIETY: Stumbling Back to Faith When Good Religion Goes Bad.
RAISED IN A HIGHLY RELIGIOUS FAMILY, which she compared to a cult, Elizabeth Esther learned at an early age how to overindulge in the Spirit of the Lord. Through this behavior, she conditioned herself to have (what she described) an unhealthy attitude towards God. Later in life, as well as during the times she was in recovery Elizabeth discovered she was “Using God, a church, or a belief system” to measure her self-worth.
FOR ELIZABETH being a religious addict meant she had a hard time saying “no.” No, to the rituals, the attention, the euphoria she experienced when she praised God or did His work. No different from what any other addict would face, “There was the uncomfortable, sometimes painful letdown once the spiritual high wore off.”
MUCH OF HER RECOVERY PARALLELS other recovery programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Addicts Anonymous, as well as church-based support groups. She joined many support groups and pointed out that she could “Be more honest in nonreligious support groups because I wasn’t worried about tarnishing my good-Christian-girl reputation.”
THOUGHTS for your SOUL:
- “A process becomes an addiction when the process becomes the center of life, the most important reason for living, when a person becomes dependent upon the process for mood-altering relief.” – Robert Neil Minor
- “Imagination is a tool that helps us change things while fantasy is a distraction that prevents us from accepting the things we can’t change.”
MS. ESTHER TOOK ONE DAY AT A TIME and found a way to experience peace in her life. Her path included the importance of boundaries because “Without them, our vulnerabilities become liabilities and we are often left feeling used and discarded.” She spoke with courage from her heart. However, SPIRITUAL SOBRIETY read like a series of journal entries or blog posts and missed the opportunity to be a landmark resource for Religious Addicts.
THOUGH IT’S NEVER EASY to expose your vulnerabilities, Ms. Esther showed hers. Words have the power to change lives and if this book helps one person, then it was worth reading. “Whatever your situation, surrender. Get help if you need it. Face your reality and become spiritually sober.”
Let’s BOND over BOOKS rates SPIRITUAL SOBRIETY as MELODICALLY MEANINGFUL (151-300 pgs) . . . Just the right mixture of content and pages.
Disclaimer: BONDing for BOOKS received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.