People are often told to have faith, but often not told what have faith in. There is quite often an assumption that having faith means believing or trusting in God, but this again can have many different meanings and implications.
For many people, this is anything but an academic question, but something upon which their lives may depend.
That may sound a bit dramatic, but the reality for anyone entering a rehab or beginning the process of recovery from alcoholism, the need to make sense of their life and what is happening to them is profound and often overwhelming.
When many people enter a rehab, they are quite often in something of a daze, either literally or emotionally. It is likely they have had a fairly traumatic journey through their alcoholism, and the fact they have ended up in a rehab may well feel to them like a mark of failure in their lives.
The admission of having a problem with alcohol may not come until much later in the recovery process, when the alcoholic has actually left a rehab and has done significant amount of therapeutic work on himself.
It is a self-evident truth of alcoholism/alcohol abuse that most people see the reality of someone else’s drinking way before they do.
In fact many an alcoholic if not most alcoholics, the worse the drinking gets, the more they believe that alcohol is anything that is holding them together.
This is why their denial and their refusal to enter a rehab or go straight to AA or NA is so powerful.
The structure and tone of being in a rehab is both very institutional, and at the same time should be setting a framework for the alcoholic to realise the nature of their problem, and get some measure of what the solution is.
The work that is done in a rehab, depending on what type of a rehab the person enters, should mainly be of a therapeutic nature rather than anything else.
The nature of rehabs means that some very focused on the Alcoholics Anonymous model, whilst others are much more focused on what they refer to as life skills.
Both these approaches can work for different people, and it is up to the individual to decide what type of a rehab is most appropriate to them.
There is no doubt however that a rehab that encourages alcoholics to attend a meeting is that take place either at a rehab venue or an outside venue such as a local church, will enable the alcoholic to tap into a resource that will stand them in very good stead once they leave a rehab.
When in a rehab, an alcoholic will be introduced to a number of principles of recovery, which will effectively center around spirituality, God, higher power and faith. If the alcoholic is lucky, there will not be much sermonising or preaching by the people who work in a rehab as to what these terms mean.
If the alcoholic is unlucky, then the time spent in a rehab potentially do more harm than good.
Whilst the question of faith and what it means is a very broad one, one of the lessons that someone who spends time in a rehab should get is that the person they need to have most faith in is themselves.
This does not mean that dealing with their alcoholism it is a matter of will power, far from it, it leaves at the alcoholic will have to learn to trust themselves as to what their needs are, and how they can best go about meeting those needs.