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One of the major problems with men and women who suffer from addiction is an overwhelming sense of emptiness. There is often a sense that one doesn't belong, has never belonged and that outside forces are essential in order to find any lasting happiness. Unfortunately, such a mindset inevitably leads to either literal or emotional relapse and a sense of loneliness that can pervade addicts long after they stop drinking.
In order to find any sense of fulfillment, persons in recovery are asked to identify some sense of spirituality. Spirituality does not mean religion, but, rather, a sense of some sense of purpose or connectedness to something other than one's self.
Spirituality can include any sense of "otherness" or connectedness through which one finds meaning in life. It can be found through a support system, a connection to nature, a humanistic perspective of the world, through a religion, or even through something like meditation/yoga. The outlet doesn't matter so much as the focus on finding meaning/purpose and a diminishing sense of self-importance. Without this aspect of recovery, most addicts have a very, very difficult time obtaining any long lasting sobriety.