If you have been living the creative theory of recovery and practicing the 3 strategies then eventually you will get to a place in your recovery where you have found some level of stability. Does this mean you are cured? Of course not, as the threat of relapse is always there, and the next drinking binge is always just one drink away.
But if you are living the creative theory then you will have some insurance against the threat of relapse. You may not be bullet-proof, but at least you will be fighting off complacency with plenty of growth and purposeful action in your life. As long as you make a habit out of the following strategies you will eventually transition into long term sobriety:
1) Focus on health and well being – from a holistic standpoint. You care for yourself physically, as well as to strive for emotional balance, having healthy relationships, and so on. Your actions and decisions are guided towards healthier living.
2) Focus on networking and support – It’s the people that matter in recovery. If we connect with other recovering addicts on a daily basis then our own recovery will be that much stronger.
3) Focus on personal growth – again, from a holistic standpoint. It is not enough to grow spiritually in the creative theory. We go beyond that and push ourselves to grow in many areas of our lives. This is essentially creation in action, when we push ourselves to grow and to meet a goal. This is the endorphin rush that can replace your addiction. Notice that the other 2 strategies are really just supporting frameworks for personal growth. This is where it’s at. Push yourself to be a better person in recovery and never stop doing so.
So let’s say that you do these things and fall into a routine with them and thus transition into long term recovery….what next? Let’s take a look at some possible answers:
1) The strategies themselves are open ended, they are not destinations that you can arrive at. Therefore, you never “arrive” in recovery, you never “graduate,” there is no ultimate cure. This is consistent with traditional recovery programs as well. You can always push yourself to do more, to grow in a new direction, to learn something different, and so on. Personal growth has no limit. Therefore, “what’s next” is always going to be “more growth.”
2) Shift towards purposeful creation – what do I mean by “purposeful?” Well, all creation has purpose, but usually in early recovery we are focusing on ourselves. What I have discovered in living the creative theory is that the focus eventually shifts towards creating for the purpose of reaching others. In traditional recovery terms, this would mean that some people would start sponsoring newcomers, or they might volunteer to take a 12 step meeting into a jail or institution. The idea is to use creation to help others or to reach out to others in some way.
This is especially powerful as a long term strategy for creative recovery. Make a habit out of helping others in recovery and you will strengthen your own sobriety immeasurably.
But even after you’ve “arrived” at this point, there is always another level to pursue….never let complacency take hold and make you think you’ve got this thing beat! Always return to the 3 strategies and continue to push yourself to work on them…..