Advanced Recovery Topics

Advanced Recovery Topics


A reader by the nickname of “Kitty” wrote in and suggested that I start exploring some advanced recovery topics on this website, instead of simply rehashing the same old ideas and trying to simplify things for newcomers.

I could not agree more with this idea. So once a week, I’ll be pushing the envelope a bit here on the Spiritual River in order to start exploring what I feel are “advanced recovery topics.”

Here are some of my initial thoughts for some areas to start exploring (but I need your ideas too!):

1) Decreasing dependence on early recovery strategies and tactics (such as meetings, group therapy, counseling sessions, sponsorship, etc).

2) Finding a customized approach for connecting with others in recovery.

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3) Challenging ourselves to overcome complacency through holistic growth.

4) Sharpening our definition of “spiritual” and finding what works for us (gratitude, service, love, something more?).

In early recovery you have the basics. The tools of traditional recovery that get us through the first few months of recovery. There seem to be no magic shortcuts around this stage of recovery. You have to make a decision to change your life, find a support network, hit your knees, and so on. The basics.

What are the main problems that trip people up in long term recovery? Complacency, yes. But also…what? Depending on group therapy? Depending on ego inflation through sponsorship? What becomes important after someone has the basics down in early recovery?

What actually qualifies as “advanced recovery topics?”

I would say anything that goes beyond the basics. This points to the idea of long term recovery and complacency.

In other words, if you are in your first year of recovery, and you relapse, it is not because of complacency. You missed something early on. You screwed up the basics. You had not yet started living a full life in long term recovery.

But after you have mastered the basics of sobriety, and have your foothold in recovery, and you start to live a life of passion and purpose, then what are the core issues that you are faced with then? What needs to be addressed at this point in our recovery?

Relationships? Spirituality? Personal growth? 12 step work? (helping other addicts/alcoholics)

Give me some of your ideas about advanced recovery topics, and I’ll start exploring them on this website…..

Thanks in advance for everyone’s input on this.

I think the consensus after several years is that most, if not all advanced recovery topics revolve around relationships. Not just with significant others but with everyone. That is where the complexity lies in recovery.


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