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Recovery is...

By guest blogger Arthur H. Woodard Jr.

If you don't know what you don't know about recovery it will be difficult to be a part of the solution.

What do you know about Recovery?

What do you not know about Recovery?

What is your favorite "definition" of Recovery?

How do you describe Recovery to some one you care for or about?

How would you describe Recovery to my 14-year-old grandson?

The questions offered above are good questions to ask your self, individuals, groups and families to initiate their curiosity and willingness to begin to engage in conversations that matter about the nature of Recovery, as they understand it. These questions have provided me with wonder-full opportunities to meet individuals where they are with regards to Recovery.

In sharing my thinking about "Recovery is…" I am offering a description of my own discoveries gleaned from my process of Learning, Doing and Teaching Recovery over the 39 years. I offer a description versus a definition of Recovery because Recovery is a personal process in which I enCourage individuals, groups and families seeking to live or support Recovery to "define" Recovery for them selves and their individual situations.

Craig Nakken introduced me to my favorite "definition" of Recovery early in my own process through a book in his book entitled Inside The Addictive Personality. Nakken defined Recovery as " a love/trust relationship with an object or event that changes an individual's mood". This "definition" emphatically touched my SOUL when I was exposed to it 30plus years ago and continues to do so to this day. I have shared it with hundreds if not thousand of others and have found it be HELP-full in their discovery/recovery process as well.

In my role as a Recovery Coach Academy facilitator and Recovery Coach over the last ten years, the words I've heard and used in "defining" Recovery have included,

Recovery is

  • A lifelong process of change and self-discovery.
  • A process of improving an individual's quality of life and well-being.
  • An individualized, person-centered process.
  • Achieved through multiple pathways.

You are responsible for being curious and willing to identify and live your own way of looking at and sharing recovery…are you able and willing to respond?

My own current personal description of Recovery has evolved over the last 38 years informed and influenced by ongoing learning Living and Leading in response to Nakken's work.

Nakken's Inside The Addictive Personality has informed me that

Recovery involves,

  • Having Honest and Caring Relationships with Self and Others.
  • Balance, Harmony and Serenity.
  • Mutual Vulnerability.
  • Accepting that we are limited in our control.
  • Self-Responsibility.
  • Care and Caring.
  • Surrender vs. Control.
  • Negotiation vs. Manipulation.
  • Turning our lives will and our lives over to Care.


As a result of this information and my 38 years of recovering and HELPing Recovery my description of Recovery has evolved to "recovery is a process of turning my life over to care.

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Wednesday, 13 November 2019