Traditional recovery programs are well established and if you are seeking recovery you will no doubt come into contact with them. While these programs offer instant support and good networking, they are not without their problems:
1) Traditional recovery can be fear based – sometimes traditional recovery seems to be fear based, meaning that people are not really motivating towards creation. Instead, there is a distinct sense of “I know I have to hit these meetings every day or I will relapse,” or “I have to keep working this program or I will relapse.”
2) Traditional recovery can be dogmatic – traditional recovery programs usually preach open-mindedness in order to get you in the door, but they do not extend this open mindedness beyond their own program. This is because they have already found their solution and see no need to explore elsewhere. “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” is the mentality. Because traditional recovery works for some people, those people believe that it could work for anyone, and discourage seeking solutions elsewhere (which would entail a creative effort).
3) Traditional recovery is not holistic – most traditional recovery programs are spiritual based. But addiction affected our whole person, including physically, mentally, socially, and emotionally. Treating addiction with only a spiritual solution doesn’t make sense. The ideal approach is therefore holistic in nature and addresses the whole person.
4) Traditional recovery lacks creative energy – A program of recovery is only effective to the extent that it pushes you to create a new life for yourself. Traditional recovery programs make a half hearted attempt at this but fall short of really pulling it off. For example, they instruct us to do an inventory and to work on correcting our shortcomings, but where is the push for a life of real passion and purpose? How do traditional recovery programs encourage us to explore our passion and find deep meaning and purpose in our life? The short answer is that they can only do this indirectly at best, and any creative efforts must come from the individual outside of the boundaries of traditional programs.
5) Traditional recovery can create dependency – some recovering addicts and alcoholics have become dependent on their recovery solution instead of creating a new life of freedom for themselves. This is certainly better than active drug addiction but it’s not the ideal life for someone. Recovery is about recovering the life you once had, about getting back to real living and real freedom.
That is the focus of recovery and if you become enslaved to a recovery program at the expense of finding a new life of freedom then you have missed the mark. Most people can establish a healthy balance between this life of freedom and their recovery efforts but others become obsessive with traditional programs to an unhealthy degree.
Remember that recovery is not an end in itself; it is the means to an end.
Living a good life is the point.
Achieving freedom and serenity is the point.
Creating this for yourself is the point. These are the ends that you should be seeking and if the program itself becomes your ultimate goal then you are missing out on the creative life.