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THE WE IN RENOUNCING ADDICTION

“Each person’s life is lived as a series of conversations” – Deborah Tannen

“Each person’s life is lived as a series of conversations” – Deborah Tannen

Once a person makes the decision to renounce addiction, the repair process begins. There is a conversation taking place between the voice of the true self and the voice of addiction. The true self renounces the powerful voice of addiction as well as the addictive self-identity.  Although the word “renounce” sounds as if a person is going to deprive themselves of something, the opposite is actually happening. Renouncing addiction is giving a gift to oneself. The gift of recovery. The gift of accepting that the addictive self is not their true nature. The gift of loving oneself because a decision is made not to hurt oneself. It helps a person to find a way forward and a way through moments when one is struggling. Making a decision to renounce addiction, opens up a narrative that are life and love affirming. It opens up space to identify and question a person’s individual interpretation of power, guilt, self-doubt and failure. It creates space for loyalty to personal progress and to redefine one’s success and failures. By using a narrative therapy approach, a person in recovery can question the voice of social-construction, the voice of labels used by society when referring to addiction as well as the voice of the people in our relational circle. It creates space for standing up against the power of addiction and creating a new alternative story.  

“The most intense point of a life, the point where its energy is concentrated, is where it comes up against power, struggles with it, attempts to use its forces and to evade its traps.” –Foucault

Many people in recovery feel that they are standing alone when renouncing addiction. A journey of recovery is not supposed to be a “one man army” act. Instead, it requires a relational group that work together, that support one another, where one can gain sustenance from relationships. Bonding with other people who understand the journey of recovery and generating new relationships, skills and knowledge is necessary to renounce addiction. It is necessary to recognize recovery as an embodied action done in collaboration with others. Although the decision to participate in recovery is an individual decision, it offers the possibility for new engagement, in which collaborative action plays a significant role. It is therefore important to remember that we are born into a community, a culture and a family. It encompasses a collaboration of voices. There is a WE in recovery.  

Simcha Recovery groups offer a confidential environment where people in recovery can enter into conversations with other insider witnesses as well as trained therapists.  The groups create a space for one another where one’s true sense of self is strengthened and the alternative narrative of one’s story is build stronger.  We co-create new meaning.  Simcha Recovery is also concerned about repairing broken or hurt relationships and therefore we involve families, friends and loved one’s of people in recovery by offering a Family Care group.

Vanessa Crous

Narrative Therapist