Freedom from addiction comes through creation.
Consider the following quote:
“I must create a system or be enslaved by another man’s; I will not reason and compare: my business is to create.” – William Blake
How does anyone stay clean and sober? They do it by figuring out a system for living. We might think that we stay sober by following a program, but that is a bit of an illusion. We only stay sober by applying a program. There is a difference and, ultimately, the difference is in personal application.
“Programs of recovery” are just suggestions….they are meaningless until we attempt to apply them in our lives. I see people constantly try to make recovery programs out to be much more objective than they actually are. They talk about how someone relapsed because “they were working their program of recovery instead of working the program of recovery.”
This is a big mistake, in my opinion. What do you think the point of having daily AA meetings is? So that people can discuss the multitude of different ways to apply a program of recovery to their lives. If the program was truly objective, like many purists claim it to be, then we would not need so many meetings, so many discussions, so many clarifications and interpretations. But, it is all about practical application.
The fact is that any program of recovery has to be interpreted by the individual and then applied in their unique situation in order to produce results in the real world. Just taking a set of principles and saying that they are the path to salvation is rather meaningless. How do you actually apply that path in your unique life?
And how is it that two individuals who interpret a program differently can both achieve long term sobriety in spite of those differences? And yet we see this happening all the time, in many different ways. For example, take meditation. There are some people with multiple years in recovery who have never really meditated. They just don’t do it. It is not their thing. I know several people like this. They are still spiritual…..they might pray, they might work with others in recovery, but they do not meditate. Ever. Yet they have a strong recovery.
Compare this now to someone in recovery who is an absolute meditation guru. Practically all they do is meditate. It is the backbone of their recovery program. They, too, have a strong program.
Two extreme opposites…yet they both find success in recovery. So much for an objective program.
With a truly objective program, anomalies like this would not exist.
But they do.
So what gives?
What is really going on with any “program” of recovery
* Creation is taking these principles that are working for others and then making them your own.
* Creation is discovering what works for you, and using it to succeed in recovery.
* Creation is living with passion and purpose and taking real action to achieve real results in recovery.
Many people who work a traditional program of recovery are involved with the act of creation. They are leading by example, and they are getting real results in recovery by taking action and applying the concepts to their daily life. They are not whining and complaining. They are not victims. Instead, they are creating change. Taking action. Pushing themselves to continue growing. And so on.
Creative recovery is just that: creative. You are creating a new life for yourself through positive, daily action. Spiritual development is not the thrust of it. Action is.
Here is the kicker though: they are the same thing. Action and spiritual development. If you take positive action in your recovery, then that is spiritual action.
* Reaching out to help another addict.
* Exercising or meditating on a regular basis (or both).
* Working to improve your relationships by strengthening the good ones and eliminating the toxic ones.
* Taking better care of yourself through better nutrition/fitness and quitting bad habits.
* Using all of the above to build real self esteem and help protect yourself from relapse.
How are any of these actions not spiritual in nature? They are all ways that can directly or indirectly draw you closer to your higher power, if that is your ultimate intention. Better health through holistic growth. Creation through personal growth. These are the keys to recovery.
Yes, you can achieve this by using a “program.” But no, a “program” is not really necessary. You will have to judge for yourself how much a program is helping you achieve these ends versus merely distracting you from what is really important.
Consider the quote again:
“I must create a system or be enslaved by another man’s; I will not reason and compare: my business is to create.”
Recovery is your responsibility. Regardless of whether or not you are working a program, you have to ultimately apply it and make it work for you. In this way you create your own success in recovery. You must create by adapting the program to your life.
I recently stumbled on an awesome website and, in particular, a very useful article for recovering addicts and alcoholics. Check out this insanely helpful post over at Unwrap Your Mind.