Over the past few months, I have begun to explore deeper into what I call modern and alternative approaches to recovery. I have found that there are some really awesome people who are promoting more empowering and more intellectual methods of recovery. It all started at the beginning of my own recovery journey when I found the book This Naked Mind by Annie Grace, which I have talked about quite a bit on this blog over the past year. I was super excited when I found This Naked Mind and Annie’s approach spoke to me on a variety of levels. It’s all about training your subconscious to think about alcohol differently. Undoing a lifetime of conditioning that thinks alcohol is providing benefits. AA, the 12-steps, and the spiritual approach never really resonated with me. I do believe in God but I do not believe that I am powerless nor do I believe that I have to make amends for all of the wrongs I made. I also don’t like going to AA meetings, they make me feel uncomfortable and send my anxiety into overdrive.
Around the same time that I discovered This Naked Mind, I also found the program of SMART Recovery. I’ve talked quite a bit about SMART Recovery here too over the past year. SMART stands for Self Management And Recovery Training. It is a science-based, self-empowering approach that uses a variety of tools based in REBT and CBT therapies to support its 4-point program of building & maintaining motivation, coping with urges, managing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and live a balanced lifestyle. I found SMART meetings to be much more welcoming and comfortable and it has been a huge part of my recovery. With the combination of these two approaches plus therapy, medication, and a ton of hard work in every area of my life, I have managed over a year and a half of recovery.
In addition to Annie Grace, over the past few months, I have discovered a couple of other advocates of more scientific and empowering approaches. The books Alcohol Explained by William Porter and The Abstinence Myth by Dr. Adi Jaffe are equally fantastic sources of information about addiction.
Annie Grace – This Naked Mind
What I love about Annie Grace is that she doesn’t come from the traditional recovery experience of detox and rehab and being forced into a 12-step program. She had a problem that she wanted to fix and did the research to find out why she was struggling and how to fix it. She wasn’t in touch with the whole recovery scene and basically put the information out there without knowing that there would be push back from traditionalists. It started with the book This Naked Mind and turned into a whole range of programs, online courses, coaching, live events, and another book. A couple of her influences in her research were Dr. John Sarno and Allen Carr, who promote the power of the brain and body.
Learn more about Annie Grace and This Naked Mind at https://thisnakedmind.com/
William Porter – Alcohol Explained
William Porter’s “objective when writing Alcohol Explained was to explain alcohol and alcoholism from a chemical, physiological, and psychological standpoint.” He simply provides scientific information about alcohol in terms that are easy to understand. William, himself, was a drinker for around 25 years and just naturally began researching alcohol and its effects as he experienced the different problems that arose from drinking. He was able to quit after gaining knowledge of the true nature of alcohol. What I especially appreciate about Alcohol Explained is that it does not ask you to follow any methods or programs, it just simply explains alcohol and lets you draw your own conclusions.
You can learn more about William Porter and Alcohol Explained at http://www.alcoholexplained.com/
Dr. Adi Jaffe – The Abstinence Myth
The top of Dr. Jaffe’s website for The Abstinence Myth says it all, “In an industry that turns away 90% of those who need help, one man is brave enough to tell it like it is and FIGHT for change!” His personal story of recovery alone is amazing. From using everything, getting arrested multiple times, and facing years in prison to Ph.D. from UCLA and renowned addiction and mental health expert. Dr. Jaffe advocates for lowering the barriers of entry to recovery and changing the way we view addiction. I’m currently on a kick of reading and listening to as much of his work as I can.
You can find out more about Dr. Adi Jaffe and The Abstinence Myth at https://www.theabstinencemyth.com/
So, there are many videos by each of these authors if you just do a search for their names on YouTube. Also, these are not the only ones who are promoting an alternative approach to recovery, these are just the leaders that I am currently into. I highly recommend each of these books and then from there, you can go on your own journey into other thought leaders on the subject.
That’s all for now, please subscribe to this blog to receive updates on future posts as I continue to explore and cover these modern and alternative approaches to recovery from substance abuse and addiction.