Recovery (noun): the action or process of regaining possession or control of something (stolen or) lost

Collective (noun): a cooperative enterprise that shares or is motivated by common issue; marked by similarity among a group of individuals who work together to achieve a common objective or solution. A like-minded moral stance, ideology and social outlook that emphasizes the collective and its interests.

Mission Statement:

To raise awareness, share stories and solutions, organize events, train lay leaders, offer encouragement and hope, support the recovery community, to foster teamwork around a framework that supports healthy lifestyles, while not formally affiliated with any 12 Step group or organization, but supports the work of all. The “recovery” discussed here is about encouraging and implementing what I call Lifestyle Initiative Training (LIT).

My recovery writings are >> HERE.
The Recovery Collective Radio show and Podcast is >> HERE.
Recovery Collective merchandise/store to support this effort is >> HERE.


Tom Leu, MS/CPC
  1. “Recovery” is something that you DO… recovering from what I call the AV/DC’s… the Addictions, Vices, Devices, Distractions, or Compulsions that may ail you or someone you know. Recovery is a verb indicating deliberate action is being taken ongoing. It’s positive, and it’s strong. It’s about making your best decisions in the moment, within the day-to-day, in every way, to produce your best outcomes. Recovery starts with beginning to “see things” differently. Recovery is about first shiFting beliefs; behavior then follows.
  2. Addiction may be biological in its genesis, but gestates due to a lack of communication at the core. A lack of quality communication with oneself first, and then with others second when attempting to understand the resulting addictive behavior. Untreated addiction is the most selfish act of all because addiction caters to oneself only. One’s needs and desires that revolve around avoiding and escaping from their pain. Addiction becomes a decision <-> Sobriety becomes a volition <-> Recovery becomes a choice. 
  3. Recovery and communication are interrelated. Long-term, positive recovery results from transparent communication. You cannot permanently recover (from anything) without honest and effective intrapersonal communication first, honest and effective interpersonal communication second. So “recovery” then is also about Communication’s <-> Recovery (to get back again, regain, or restore).
  4. Recovery requires getting humble, and honestly looking at yourself and your chosen circumstances. The very circumstances that are the catalyst and cause of your emotional pain.
  5. Recovery may or may not include spirituality or belief in higher powers of any type. Either way, it’s OK.
  6. Any recovery resource or modality that produces positive recovery is good and supported here.
  7. Recovery is positive and powerful. Recovery is cool. Recovery requires courage. Recovery takes balls. And thus, recovery is hardest thing of all… No doom and gloom, head in the sand shit here. Instead, an empowering and emboldened spirit of strength and endurance are the freak flags flying within these cyber walls. This shit ‘ain’t taboo, it’s triumph.


Addiction may be more or less be influenced biologically by our genes, or environmentally by our surroundings. A plethora of scientific research studies continue to support that some people have higher biological predispositions and/or genetic risks for certain addictive behaviors should they choose to engage in the behaviors in the first place. Other studies show that environmental influence is the primary predictor of addictive behavior.  Still others claim a combination. Nature vs. Nurture. The debate rages on…


Regardless of the How; those successful in recovery choose to focus on the Now. What’s next? What will I DO next given my current reality. That’s what I focus on here… the NOW. The present moment, and the future momentum that THIS moment right here and now produces. Yes, it’s important to research and best understand the biology contributing to our brain-body relationship. Yes, it’s also important to recognize the past and learn from the good and the bad of it all. But then, the time comes to move forward. To live in the Now and come alive in the future. It’s these types of choices that result in lifestyle decisions and actions that one applies to their life ongoing that produce different outcomes. Better outcomes for you and for yours.


The collective “story” that gets told and shared and perpetuated can be a powerful healing elixir. It can also be toxic. Many people choose to tell versions of their story, shirking and placing responsibility for their lives outside of themselves saying “I have a disease, it’ not my fault.” “I’ve had a rough life, it’s not my fault.” I take issue with these statments because they are EXCUSES. You may or may not have a “disease,” you may have been dealt some tough and rough life cards, but you have RESPONSIBILITY to do whatever is necessary to recover from that which ails you.

When asked: “How’d you do it? “ Some reply, “I didn’t do it; god did it.” I take issue with that as well. So god gives you free will (if that’s what you choose to believe), and then you CHOOSE to consume, but then that same god takes away your will and ability to recover? Complete bullshit.

This is convoluted and convenient ploy to keep causes and conditions outside of your control. When your addiction is outside of your control, and your subsequent recovery is too, you’re a prime target for propaganda… for god to rescue you, which is yet another form of addiction.

You become addicted by lacking responsibility >> by choosing to blame, rationalize, justify, and deny.

You recover by taking responsibility >> by accepting, owning, earning, and learning.

>> A few other points of consideration and/or potential contention…

You choose to drink and/or use?

Cool. We can still be friends. Just know I’m not affected by these choices one way or another. I care and don’t care simultaneously. Partakers don’t weird me out; abstainers shouldn’t you either.

You have friends or relatives in recovery, so you’re up on it all, and all good?

Cool. You should connect us. I’d love to get to know them. Just know I don’t believe that any of us are “up on it all” of anything, nor “all good” when it comes to learning and growing. There’s always more to learn and any resistance to growing is typically a defense mechanism rearing it’s ugly head.

You feel bad for those in recovery, and their proclaimed and public display of weakness?

Cool. Just know that I’m giving you permission to knock-it-the-fuck-off right now. No pity necessary. I’m stronger today than I was back in the day when I thought I had it all under control.

You think those in recovery should remain anonymous?

Cool. Just know I fully disagree for the following reason: Keeping this shit hidden only ensures it’s ongoing prevalence. I’m interested in helping to change that by speaking up, and encouraging others to do the same.


Who am I to say so? I am a fellow journeyman on the road to recovery… since December 17, 2002, one day at  time. I share what I’ve learned, and what I am still learning with my students, audiences, clients, and anyone who asks for help. It’s my way to give back. To “pay it forward” as they say. My writings here have an edge and realistic optimism that’s anything but brow-beating, dry or downtrodden. This is about embracing life and living it to the fullest. For this, recovery (from whatever ails you) is required to take the first step in your new, chosen direction. I write from the intersection of treatment methodologies and twelve step traditions, with a goal of moving from recovery to discovery one moment of truth at a time.

In no way am I suggesting that this is easy; it’s not. But I am suggesting it’s also not impossible. Don’t confuse uncomfortable with unattainable.

Recovery Collective Podcast Episodes:

**Note: content here is not affiliated with any other specific recovery organization, treatment facility, or 12 Step group. My opinions and experiences are my own. My position is if it truly works for you, then it works. Period. The destination is more important, and more valuable than the vehicle taken to get there.

Stay tuned-in…