Recovery Ink

Definition of Recovery

Definition RecoveryThe field of Recovery has changed a lot since I started my own recovery journey and started working in the field. Yesterday, during a supervision meeting, one of the other old time counselors remembered how it was when we first got into the field. All you needed was to have two years of “recovery” or “sobriety” and an agency that would take you on. Now, there are addiction classes that can lead to certification and/or licensure preparation at many colleges throughout the state. 

So, maybe it would be helpful to have some kind of working definition of recovery for the here and now.  In consultation with others attempting to define recovery (T.S.Eliot (google him) once said “immature poets imitate, old poets steal) I helped to cobble together this definition: 

Recovery is a process of change, through self discovery, in which an individual achieves improved health, wellness and a better quality of life. 

Usually I hand out this definition to clients in groups and ask them to share what catches their attention, what “speaks “ to them. Maybe you could take a minute to do that, and share it with us. 

The fact that it’s a process and not an event always catches my attention. For those who have ears to’s the old recovery principle of progress not perfection. It’s not an event. 

The current wider cultural way of seeing this is: you are in recovery if you believe you are in recovery. Do you see improved health, wellness, and a better quality of life? 

Recovery used to be equated with abstinence, that is that there is no use of any mind altering substance. Like so many other things, there is debate about this. I’ll weigh in on this as time goes on. The most critical issue  is whether or not you are being honest in your self assessment,or, in assessing how something may be diminishing the quality of from your life. We have an uncanny ability to see the benefits of our mood altering choices.

So, this may give us a starting point as we share here at Recovery, Ink.