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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:09 am 

Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:41 am
Posts: 29
Theadog wrote:
Good catch, you are paying attention:). Yes it has not been presented in a lesson yet, wouldn't hurt to start though. Coach Tim explained to me, when like you I was noticing and concerned about these discrepancies; that jon was a prolific thinker, lots and lots of ideas. The site is an evolving changing, organic system, and there are things that seem "out of place". I took this as an opportunity to start to accept change, imperfection, discrepancies. I wanted a perfectly solid situation, as many of us do:)

Thanks for asking, good luck on your journey


Nonetheless, could it still be added to the lesson? Seems to make sense...

PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 11:36 am 
Partner's Coach (Admin)

Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:07 pm
Posts: 5200
I see this is from a long time ago, but it is a valid question and should be addressed. I will move it to the recovery forum later. For now, my thoughts:

I would not say that this is an error in the recovery workshop. The diction between abstract and concrete is necessary in the early stage of recovery because recovery is not measured by the practical actions, but by the conceptual adoption and an overall way of being that is the omnibus culmination of successfully transitioning away from addiction to health and values based living. Recovery is a process that encompasses both practical and conceptual.

Let me see if I can explain another way.

In the beginning of the process, most people see themselves as their addiction. They see the behaviours as one in the same as who they are, essentially. They do not see the behaviours as coping strategies. It's "just who I am". So, the first task is to develop awareness that one is not their behaviour, and that the behaviours that make up one's specific addiction have developed as a way for them to manage and cope in whatever context they developed those behaviours in. The behaviours became habitualized and generalized as a way of coping in all situations. Eventually they became rewarding in and of themselves. I can't say when the two become one, so to speak (that the person no longer sees themselves as separate from their addiction) but it probably coincides with the habit formation.

From here, the person who wishes to recovery has to learn how to separate themselves from their addiction. They may conceptually understand that they are not their addiction, but this conceptual understanding is not enough to remove the dependence or habituation that has developed, and does not mean that they will effectively transition away from the behaviours that make up their addiction. They might be able to white knuckle it for a while and abstain. Some may even have long time success with abstinence, but this does not mean they have "recovered". If someone focuses on practical doing (not acting out and doing other things instead) they will succeed for a while, but when they "fall off the wagon" it will be a hard fall, because they have equated the doing with recovery, and they missed the bigger picture of recovery, which is not simply exchanging an "unhealthy" behaviour for a "healthy" alternative, but an experiencing oneself as a healthy and balanced individual who makes choices based on their vision and values, not in reaction to external stimuli.

That said, it will be difficult of most people, I think, to make the leap from understanding conceptually and full recovery, without the wrote doing of practical steps that will facilitate the transition to health and values based living. Further, the conceptual understanding that is had in early recovery is abstract and not well understood by the individual who wishes to free themselves from their addiction. This will not be understood until it moves from intellectual understanding to the experienced being. It is the experienced being that is developed and facilitated through wrote practice. Rarely, but not impossibly, people could have a shift in understanding that allows them to bridge the gap without the awkward phase of wrote practice. But for the majority, practice is required before the deeper understanding of what it means to be "recovered" is experienced.

Some people will keep their recovery at the abstract and conceptual level, intellectualizing rather than experiencing. Some people will focus on doing and behaviour, but fail to see the bigger picture of deeper meaning. True recovery requires and integration of both the conceptual and the practical doing into a full experience.

To speak to the examples given:
Did I derive meaning from nurturing my creativity and or music interests today? and Did I practice guitar for 30 minutes? A person can effectively practice guitar for 30 minutes a day, and not gaining any meaning or fulfillment from it because they are focusing on the doing as what will bring recovery. But, without the connection to the meaning, they are simply doing "recovery by numbers". On the flipside, someone can set "derriving meaning from nurturing creativity" as a goal, but not get beyond this conceptual and abstract unless they put it into practice by setting practical goals like "practice 30 minutes a day".

I hope this makes sense.

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. (Viktor E. Frankl)

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