‘Experiencing Recovery – Part 3′ by William L. White: Toward a Recovery Paradigm

More of Bill White’s talk that he gave at the Harvard Addiction Conference in 2012, the Norman E. Zinberg Memorial Lecture.

Bill talks about the disconnection between recovery and treatment, and asks what do we know about the science of recovery. And how do we define recovery? He tells us how little neuroscience has told us about recovery.

‘Shedding Skins in Recovery’ by William L White

Shedding Skins in Addiction RecoveryMore wonderful reflections from Bill White in his latest blog posting.

‘For years, the following quote has rested over my writing desk:  “The Phoenix does not mourn what lies in its ashes; the serpent does not mourn its old skin.” Arthur Frank

Addiction recovery involves a progressive unpeeling of the self and focused efforts of self-construction.  It is helpful in thinking of this to distinguish between remission and recovery.

Remission of an illness can involve little more than the removal of symptoms and a return to the earlier trajectory of one’s existence.   In this sense, remission is regressive – a return to an earlier level of functioning. 

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‘Amplified Recovery’ by Bill White

Amplified Recovery“There is nothing about a caterpillar which would suggest that it will become a butterfly.” Buckminster Fuller

Recovery from a life-threatening condition can bring far more than the removal of pain and sickness from an otherwise unchanged life.  Confronting one’s mortality through the experiences of illness and recovery can bring unexpected gifts. 

Surviving heart disease, cancer, addiction or other life-threatening experiences can be an unlikely source of renewal and personal transformation – catalysts for living more fully and more meaningfully.  There may be something to that notion of being stronger at the broken places.

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