Turning Pain Into Spiritual Growth--

How does one go about turning physical, mental, and emotional pain into a positive force used as an aid to spiritual growth & maturity?  This seems to be the premise--backbone--of Alcoholics Anonymous & other twelve step fellowships.  What if there were a cure for addiction that came out on the market tomorrow?  Like a pill or a series of pills or injections or surgery that allowed the addicted person to resume normal drinking & drugging.  (Though who can say with any certainty WHAT "normal" drinking/drugging is?)  Would there be a plethora of people trying heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamines knowing that if they got hooked, they could just go through the process of curing themselves?  I highly doubt that, but would people already hooked--addicted--sign up for this cure?  I would imagine so, since the majority of individuals who attempt to quit using AA/NA/other 12-step groups usually fail.  I don't know the stats off the top of my head, but more people DON'T recover than DO recover using the 12-steps.  And actually that's quite depressing since AA & NA are actually proven to be more effective than any other form of treatment. 
Most of us need the pain, the "pitiful & incomprehensible demoralization" that comes along with living a lifestyle addicted to alcohol & other drugs, to transition into a spiritual lifestyle.  As the AA Big Book says, "alcohol was the 'great persuader.'"

Take care & keep on keeping on! m//r

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