If you’re wondering what to expect from a serenity prayer rehab program, you’re not the only one. Many addicts hear the word “prayer” and immediately assume that the rehab facility is religious, but this isn’t necessarily true. While some of these treatment centers may have religious influences, some do not. The point is to help addicts develop faith in some power greater than himself or herself through the serenity prayer.
The serenity prayer:
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Before you fully dive into what the prayer means, you must first concede to the fact that you’re an addict and that your life has become unmanageable as a result of your disease. This is nothing to be ashamed of either. Many addicts see surrender as being weak, but this can be one of the most empowering experiences in your life. Once you realize that you have a problem that you cannot control, you can then begin working on the way to overcome your addiction, which can be very powerful.
Although surrender is necessary, it is also scientifically proven. Most addicts have tried to control their drinking or using for months or even years. If you are an addict, you have found that even if you manage to control your drinking or using for a short time, you soon lose control again. An addict suffers from an overwhelming mental obsession and physical craving that makes controlling their using extremely difficult. Even when an addict is moderating their drug or alcohol use, it is challenging. Studies have proven that the brain of an addict is abnormal, so they cannot control their use of mind-altering substances.
The best way to surrender to the fact that you are an addict is to think of it as an allergy. Imagine someone who is allergic to peanuts. There is nothing “wrong” with them except that their body has a different reaction to the food that most people don’t have. This is the same thing that happens to an addict. It is not your fault if you’re an addict, but it’s your responsibility to do the work to overcome your substance abuse problem.
The serenity prayer allows you to surrender on a daily basis. Some recovering addicts say this prayer throughout the day because it helps them remember what little control they have in the world. Many addicts suffer from the delusion that they can control people, places, and things, but the reality is that nobody can. Every time you say this prayer, you’ll be reminded that you don’t have control, but you can ask for the courage to walk through the situation.
The prayer uses the word “God,” but this doesn’t mean that it has to be a deistic god. As long as you develop in a faith of something more powerful than yourself, you’re able to ask for help to get through situations that you were unable to get through without the use of drugs or alcohol. This power can be something as simple as your support group from the treatment center.