Recovery from drugs and alcohol is all about results. If you stay clean and sober and you are living a fulfilling life then that is great. You have found your calling and whatever program (or lack thereof) that you are working seems to be the right fit for you.
In other words, if you are trying to recover from drug and alcohol addiction, the best thing to do is to do what works for you. This is essentially repeated in traditional recovery programs quite often (“Take what you need and leave the rest,” etc.).
Instead of taking a hard line on exactly what needs to be done in order to recover, traditional wisdom says you should explore and find what works best for you personally. This is probably because:
1) The whole idea of recovery is really quite young and has not really been studied in a professional capacity for more than a hundred years or so.
2) We still do not have a complete understanding of why addiction happens or total knowledge of how it exists as a disease of the brain.
3) We see evidence of different addicts who are successfully recovering that employ completely different programs of recovery, where certain programs clearly do not work for certain individuals.
In other words, the whole substance abuse/recovery field is actually pretty young, and we still don’t completely understand addiction and how it all works. We are still in the process of refining possible solutions, exploring new medications or therapies that can help with addiction, and so on.
Addiction and recovery is not a “solved problem.” The jury is still out. If you want to recover for yourself, then you have a responsibility to actively seek your own path of success. The experts in this field cannot produce anything significantly higher than, say, a 20 percent success rate (that is a very generous estimate by they way) when it comes to getting people clean and sober.
So if someone introduces you to a recovery program–any program at all–you have to be realistic about it. Recognize that any program for recovery is really just a collection of suggestions. If a recovery program is going to work for you, do you think it is the actual suggestions of the program that produce the results, or do you think that the results rely more heavily on your personal actions?
Just how complicated is a program of recovery, really?
It’s not what you do, it’s how you do it
Think about what a good recovery program really consists of. We could break it down like this:
1) Abstinence from chemicals.
2) A design for living.
3) Support and networking (Helping others).
4) Personal growth.
Really, where is the mystery in that? Sure, it’s a lot of stuff. And no, it’s not necessarily easy to do. People fail at recovery over and over again. But my point is that there is no great mystery in the program itself. The results are in the doing.
You have to do stuff in order to recover.