Waking Up Sober: The Challenging Experience of a Spiritual Awakening


Sober Recovery Expert Author


When someone speaks about having a spiritual awakening, they are typically referencing an experience or multiple experiences that have shaken them to awaken them. In other words, the circumstances are such that they are spiritually transformed through the experiences. And, as such, they have been forever changed and set upon a newfound and ever-evolving spiritual journey.

It sounds like a pleasurable experience laden with magic and miracles. And, it is. However, it’s more akin to the journey of addiction treatment and recovery and the miracles that occur in that process. In fact, it can be even more intense and (at times) terrifying.

When someone speaks about having a spiritual awakening, they are typically referencing an experience or multiple experiences that have shaken them to awaken them.

What’s currently happening in the world can be seen through the same lensa spiritual awakening for the planet. From that vantage point, you can easily see how it takes a shift in perspective (choosing to view life through the lens of love over fear) to see the magic and miracles, rather than focus on misery or mayhem.

Those who have been in recovery for some time and are now on their own spiritual awakening journey can attest, as they are likely on the other side of their dark night of the soul (the dark time that allows for deep transformation). However, waking up while newly sober is quite a different story.

There’s certainly an opportunity to be spiritually awakened through the process of active addiction and the decision to step into real recovery. As such, those who are new to recovery may be experiencing numerous challenges, as that is part of it. After all, it’s not a called a fun night of the soul. It is indeed a dark time.

The latter is typically seen as a recipe for relapse. But, we cannot spiritually bypass the uncomfortable emotions with the 12 Steps or any other form of recovery. We must allow the triggers and let the feelings surface. It’s the only way to truly sit with ourselves, embracing all that we are (rather than shaming and avoiding parts), so we can become whole again.

Shift the Focus

Certainly, the victim stance once glamorized and perpetuated in active addiction must shift to one of gratitude and serenity within chaos. You can see the same opportunity playing out for the world todaya global dark night of the soul that can act as a mirror and a reminder that we are all one. And, if you’re currently experiencing the darkness of it or have been in that space for some time, the shift in perspective is now vital to the world around you and within you. It is key to your continued recovery.

Fear and victimization take you down a dark hole. Love and gratitude move you through a portal, so to speak, of transformation. There is beauty on the other side of all of this. But, to get there, you must walk through Hell and reclaim the parts of yourself and others you’ve condemned there. And, that takes you to the next stepforgiveness.


Forgiveness is paramount.

When we speak or hear of forgiveness, we often think of how it applies to others. That will apply here too. But, first, you must learn to love and forgive you.

Amidst the triggers and memories that flood through, allow the shame and guilt to surface as well as the rage and resentment. But, in that space, allow the feelings to flow freely without blocking, judging, shaming, numbing or self-medicating them. This way, you offer acceptance of them while not further suppressing or compounding them.

With each experience, find compassion (not victimization) for yourself. In other words, allow the triggers and the responses, without rationalizing relapse or projecting blame. See your part and accept accountability, but also extend forgiveness to yourself and others. They are your teachers and mirrors.

Reach Out

A spiritual awakening process is not an easy one for anyone, regardless. That said, being new to sobriety and recovery will bring its own brand of unique challenges. However, it also brings an entire network of support (key to shift that perspective too).

Reach out to your recovery community, sponsors, support groups, counselors and coaches at this time. Be sure you are following up and seeking support via uplifting, healthy recovery mentors, coaches, counselors, etc. on social media and keeping your energy clean (steering clear of fear-fueled news or connections online or otherwise).

And, of course, utilize the power to reach even further for support through prayer and meditation. But, never forget, God/Your Higher Power works through others. Allow the assistance to come through by being open to receiving the love and support being offered to you.

If you or someone you know is seeking help from addiction, please visit our directory of treatment centers or call 800-891-8171 to start the road to recovery.

Stay Connected
Subscribe to our newsletter to get addiction help, recovery inspiration and community tips delivered to your inbox.
No Thanks. I'm not Interested