Recovery From Alcoholism: A Spiritual Journey

Issues Ment Health Nurs. Jul-Aug 1998;19(4):337-52. doi: 10.1080/016128498248971.


The purpose of this study was to discover the internal aspects of change in persons who are doing well living without alcohol. The heuristic research method, a qualitative phenomenological design, was used to investigate the experience of recovery. Eight recovering alcoholics were interviewed in depth. The process of recovery reflected a mythological journey comprising a departure from the shadowland of drinking, initiation into the world of sobriety, and knowledge gained along the way. New adaptive strategies were acquired, including strengthening the will, training the mind, and exercising spiritual qualities in one's daily life. The profile of doing well in recovery also reflected self-acceptance and an ongoing search for connecting with the transpersonal realm.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Alcoholism / nursing
  • Alcoholism / psychology*
  • Convalescence / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Pastoral Care
  • Recurrence
  • Religion and Psychology*