The Creative Theory of Recovery from Addiction

The Creative Theory of Recovery from Addiction

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Recovery from addiction is more than abstinence.

By definition, if you can merely abstain from drugs and alcohol without any further problems, then you were not an addict or alcoholic to begin with. A true addict or alcoholic needs a plan for living if you take away the chemicals, or they will quickly revert back to their old ways.

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What is the creative theory of recovery?

The creative theory of recovery is the idea that we need to actively and purposefully create a new life in recovery from addiction.

It’s the idea that we need to replace our passion for drugs and booze with a passion for something else.

The creative theory of recovery works well with 12 step programs such as AA or NA. However, those programs only constitute one possible path to the creative life….there are certainly other ways.

Here is a list of what the creative life in recovery entails. This is just a taste of things to come, I will expand on these much more later on:

Here is the complete overview of the creative theory of recovery.

1) Elimination is not enough – during active addiction, we experiment with control and find mild success, then back off and experience full blown addiction again. We are trapped in a cycle. Thus, the need for a replacement strategy, a life of creation.

2) Holistic approach – The creative theory of recovery is a holistic approach. Spiritual growth, emotional health, relationships, physical health–all of these and more play a factor in success. A balanced lifestyle is important for long-term success.

3) Replacement strategy – a common thread among recovery programs, and one of the central keys to the creative lifestyle. What are you going to replace your addiction with?

4) Relationships – A common pitfall for the creationist in recovery. Why new relationships can substitute so easily for a true creation-driven life. How a creation strategy overcomes resentments.

5) Creating with positive action. Creation is goal setting + a positive attitude.

6) Gratitude is central to the creative mindset. We create opportunities and positive action through maintaining a positive attitude.

7) Change in personality – A side effect of creative recovery: your personality changes for the better. Shift away from self-centered behavior toward interest in others.

8) Fuel for positive change – Spirituality / connecting with a higher power

9) Momentum – Creative recovery has momentum. Success breeds more success. Learning builds on previous experiences.

10) Learning process – Recovery is a process, one of learning. We continuously gain new perspective on our recovery and how to maintain it in the face of new experiences.

11) Avoiding victim mentality – this is the opposite of creation. We can’t sit around and blame others for our lack of progress.

These things essentially paint a picture of the successful life in recovery. However, this list does not explain how to get there, it merely shows what the addict’s life should look like once they are successful in overcoming addiction. We still need a road map for the creative theory of addiction and how to achieve it, but that will come later.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be fully examining and expanding on the creative theory itself. Later on, we will explore the transition to the creative life and the different paths that people have used to get there.


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