Why not the art of addiction recovery? There’s The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, The Art of Zen, The Art of Love, The Art of War, on and on. I admit, The Art of Addiction Recovery is not as catchy, but, hey, it might catch on (I’m not the first to coin the phrase, I’m sure, but Google doesn’t reveal a book by that title). In a sense, as in the other endeavors mentioned, there’s art to recovery. When addiction recovery becomes important, and when the recovering person begins to give serious thought to recovery, they learn it’s more than not taking the first drink, the first shot, snort or smoke. Solid, comprehensive addiction recovery entails nutrition, exercise, emotional health, mental stimulation/learning, practice and, yes, imagination and innovation.
I’ve witnessed the recovery process thousands of times, and each recovery is unique. One of the ironies of addiction is most addicts think their drug makes them unique and interesting (in their heads, at least), but the cruel truth is most addicts take a predictable route with common consequences. As the addiction progresses, the person becomes less interesting and more limited by the demands and restrictions of addiction — they usually aren’t growing as a person, aren’t paying attention to relationships, and becoming predictably erratic and nonsensical when under the influence. When we look for signs and symptoms of addiction, it becomes obvious how addicts take common paths to their bottoms. In recovery, the art of recovery, if you will, the recovering person discovers what they buried, the good and the bad, and they’re then free to become a unique individual — they become open to positive, imaginative, innovative change.
The art of addiction recovery might sound strange, and it might sound like hyperbole to say recovery is enhanced (manifested?) by imagination and innovation, but when a person starts seeing possibilities, imagining different ways to make recovery interesting and stimulating and growth oriented, then it becomes personal. Recovery becomes a quest, a challenge, a series of actions that’re well-thought out, made stronger by support from those who’ve recovered, and made real by diligent, wide-awake effort. The Art of Addiction Recovery sounds okay to me — if I had the time or the ability, I might write book (now that’s imagination!)