Recovery from Recovery
“Recovery” can be a convoluted term at times. It shouldn’t be so complicated, but we’re dealing with human beings here… There are basically 2 different types of recovery in my experience:
- Recovery from the addiction(s) and/or substance abuse which ails you is number 1.
- Recovering from recovery is number 2.
#2 is the focus here.
Recovery sometimes includes recovering from the recovery subculture.
Especially within certain 12 Step groups, “recovery” as a concept, takes on a life of its own. It becomes its own entity; it’s own reality; it’s own “higher power” of sorts. And sometimes a destructive one. Once the primary focus is on the “program” or the “fellowship” exclusively, “recovery” can become another addiction in and of itself. This is both the strength and the weakness of the group as a whole.
The group addiction may show up in the following ways:
– The cliques that form and exist within the groups.
– The judgment and condemnation toward non-AA attenders.
– The judgment and condemnation toward previous AA attenders (now considered to be certain backsliders eventually).
– The self-righteousness of those “in the know.”
– The trolling and 13th stepping.
– The created cyclical dependance on the “program” and the “fellowship” for ongoing, long-term recovery.
– The “this is the only way” mentality and philosphy.
– The “god did it all” cause and effect philosophy.
– The “you’re never recovered,” “you’ll never be good enough” message of harm disguised as help.
Recovering from addiction to drugs, alcohol, or any other vice, device, or distraction is a decision, not divine intervention.
Recovering from the propaganda of certain subcultures of the recovery movement is a decision as well.
- Resolve NOT to trade one addiction for another.
- Don’t be afraid to recover from recovery by making THAT change as well.
- Don’t let the guilt of leaving some group that’s no longer serving you become another stronghold keeping you just as captive as the previous substances were.
- Take an honest inventory, and then make your next best move.