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Thank you for your thoughtful comment. Recovery is a process of learning, growing, & healing that progressively helps people move towards greater health & wholeness. There is no single pathway to recovery - in fact, they are many. And obviously, different people can have very different experiences with regard to what is most helpful to them.
As you suggest, suffering is a natural part of the human condition, & addiction is a particular expression of suffering. For many (though not all), developing spirituality is an important part of addressing & overcoming their suffering in life (including suffering related to addiction. However, spirituality in no way equates to serenity/peace of mind - though for many people, it does help them move closer to that goal. There are no 1+1=2 equations in this process.
Although some of the philosophy & materials that led to the formation of AA & the original 12 Steps were extrapolated from The Oxford Group, my understanding is that the Oxford Group had 6 suggested practices that helped inform the development of some of the steps. In the early 1930s when Carl Jung was refining his views on addiction, he treated a man who was indirectly known to Bill Wilson (who along with Bob Smith developed AA). This linkage played a part (how large, it is impossible to know with certainty) in the formal incorporation of spirituality in a general sense into the 12 Steps.
I very much agree with your points about the complexities of mental health & chronic pain, and how they can contribute to addiction & must be considered in the recovery process. Addiction & co-occurring chronic pain is one of the areas I specialize in. Limited space of an individual blog post requires that my remarks be very targeted, but I have never subscribed to a one-size-fits-all approach. I believe that there are no magic bullets, yet there are many principles & practices - cognitive, emotional, physical, & spiritual - that can be important & helpful. Ultimately, it's about balance.
If you're interested reading more about my bigger-picture approach (& how it seems to fit with your own thinking) I invite to read my previous blog posts and check out my book, Some Assembly Required: A Balanced Approach to Recovery from Addiction and Chronic Pain.
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