Are you rational? Do you believe in things that aren’t real?
Those are hard questions to answer, and they are also a load of hooey. Why? Because no human being is totally rational, nor do we know with certainty that any of us believe (spiritually, so to speak) in something that does not exist. How do we know ghosts aren’t real? Santa Claus seems unlikely, but who knows, maybe a heavy set fellow really does magically deliver presents to good kids. So why are we even talking about superstition? Because adhering to one is a popular trait still to this day. Perhaps it’s our desire to feel in control of things that are certainly not, or perhaps we just don’t want to give up believing in things. In the west, religion has been on the decline for decades, yet belief has stayed pretty steady. Belief in what? A whole lot, from small things like skipping cracks on the sidewalk, to believing in gods and spirits that guide and help us throughout our lives.
Every day people who attend a drug or alcohol rehab program also have superstitions, just like the rest of us. Are they different? Sometimes, but the part we should focus on is that there are much higher stakes when it comes to people recovering from an addiction. Those superstitions mean a whole lot more to those who adhere to them, because our association to them could mean if we ritually screw something up, we may reach for that bottle. Does it happen? Yes, but before we continue, we need to dispel the fact that adhering to a superstition or quirky belief, and failing to fully validate it each and every day, does not have a big impact on our overall recovery. What it can do, however, is indirectly boost us or drag us down.
Let’s face it, if we spent all our (rather pricey) time at a rehab facility of our choosing turning each doorknob 8 times, avoiding ladders and knocking on wood, we may not being using our time too wisely. Luckily most people aren’t that superstitious, and most folks don’t believe that whatever ritual of their choosing will be the deciding factor in their attempts to get healthy.
So what role does a superstition play? Finally, a good question! Just kidding. Superstition, rituals, beliefs and so forth offer us a whole lot of comfort. They are a positive, reassuring activity we engage in that allows us a sense of control. Now, you can downplay superstition all you want, but ignoring or minimizing the feeling of being in control in rehab is just plain foolish. Regaining a sense of control is incredibly powerful to most people who have experienced a total loss of it while in the clutches of a serious drug or alcohol addiction. Control goes out the bloody window! That said, superstition is only one tiny part of regaining control over one’s life, and is certainly not required.
This Halloween, stay safe and sober! It’s a great time of year, and with all the spooky things going on, the Searidge team wishes you good health, success in all your plans for the rest of the year, and we hope you’ll stop by here on our website before Christmas and holiday time for some helpful advice, a quick read and to hear our message to you and all of our past, current and future clients about the holidays and how to enjoy them when you’re in recovery, or wanting to be.