We live in a more secular world these days and ideas of ‘faith’ can be viewed as a little old-fashioned by the more scientifically minded. The reality is that faith is still very much a part of people’s lives and even science is based on a number of faith assumptions, such as whether whatever is being measured is actually real. Breaking away from addiction does require a leap of faith but if people are not willing to take this leap then they may become trapped in addiction.
Major change will always be scary for people because it requires a step into the unknown. Even those who are suffering terribly due to addiction may be afraid to make the necessary changes that would allow them to improve their life. Many people subconsciously agree with the old saying that it is better the devil you know. Committing to sobriety is scary because it means completely overhauling your life and you need to take a leap of faith to develop the motivation to do this.
The type of faith you need to build a successful recovery is not really the same as religious faith. It does not require you believing in anything supernatural or otherworldly. You just need simple faith in the idea that by giving up alcohol or drugs, it would mean a better life for you. There is no way you can know for sure that this will happen until you do it, so you need faith in the meantime to get you motivated. Eventually you will see enough evidence of improvements in your new life that you will no longer require any faith to continue.
There is nothing particularly magical about the type of faith you need to build a good life in recovery. You already have some evidence to back it up if you think about your situation carefully. By engaging in substance abuse, it has almost certainly led to a deterioration in your life; therefore, is it hard to believe that when you do bad things that bad things tend to happen to you? It does not take much of a leap of faith to believe that the opposite is true as well – when you do good things, good things will tend to happen to you.
Of course, this justification for reasonable faith in recovery is a bit simplistic. I bet you know lots of people who seem to get away with doing bad things, and people who are genuinely good but still seem to put up with a lot of suffering. Such examples do exist, but you need to remember that such exceptions do not disprove the rule. Generally speaking, if you take positive steps to improve your life then you are going to reap the rewards – failure to acknowledge this is often just a way to justify your current behaviour.
If you continue to abuse alcohol or drugs, the likelihood is that your life will just keep on getting worse. By taking a leap of faith, you will have a chance at a much better way of living. You need to understand that negative thinking has the ability to create a self-fulfilling prophecy. This means that by just expecting your life in recovery to be unpleasant, dull, or difficult can mean that you create the conditions that cause this to become a reality. It is much better to have faith in a much better life because this will put you in the perfect position to create such a life. If you really find it hard to believe in such a better future life then you could try the ‘fake it to make it approach’ and you will not have to fake it for long.