Addiction Recovery Analogy – The Sobriety Tree

Addiction Recovery Analogy – The Sobriety Tree


What is the Sobriety Tree?

It is a useful analogy for visualizing the creative life in recovery.

The trunk of the tree is holistic growth.

The main branches are the different categories of growth: emotional, spiritual, physical, social, etc.

And the leaves are the specific activities that you engage in on your path of growth: exercise, helping a newcomer in recovery, prayer and meditation, etc.

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This is what long term sobriety should look like. A balanced life where you are growing holistically. A strong focus on good health in all areas of your life. Lots of different actions:

– Working with other addicts.

– Exercising on a regular basis.

– Seeking emotional balance.

And so on. Always action oriented stuff. In recovery, you have to do stuff in order to keep growing. And if you want to stay sober in the long run, you have to keep growing as a person. Thus the idea of holistic growth as a cornerstone of long term sobriety.

Now if you are a newcomer in recovery and only have one week sober, this analogy might not be so useful for you just yet. In early recovery, it is more important to have a narrow focus of staying sober through each day using whatever resources you can to accomplish that. For most, this will mean heavy networking and support with others in recovery. It is only later, after a baseline foundation of sobriety has been established, that someone should start seeking holistic growth as a path of continuous sobriety.

The sobriety tree also makes sense because it helps introduce the idea of balance into our lives. If you think about the different branches and categories of growth, you can then gauge your own life and the progress you’re making in different areas. Thus you might realize that you have been neglecting one area for too long and then you might need to refocus your efforts. In this way the analogy can help lead you to a more balanced lifestyle.

Remember that the foundation of your recovery (trunk of your tree) should always be holistic growth. If you are bored with your recovery, ask yourself: “What should I be working on in my life next? What is my next big goal?” You should always be pushing yourself a bit to move forward in your recovery and be learning new things.

Continuous refinement and improvement in your life should be a goal.

Just a little visual tidbit that I found interesting….


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