Identity Realignment is the process of retrieving a pre-addiction identity, salvaging and fully developing an identity not spoiled by addiction, or creating a new post-addiction identity. Such realignment represents a new or refined definition of who one is (one’s identity) and what one does (one’s role) (Biernacki, 1986). The hope that a spoiled identity can be repaired or replaced is a crucial dimension of the experience of hope for recovery. The successful rehabilitation of “self” is crucial to the consolidation of recovery (McIntosh and McKeganey, 2002). The early stages of this identity realignment are marked by selfloathing, self-examination, confession and forgiveness, identity reconstruction, restitution, purging of toxic emotions, and mastery of self-defeating behavior (White, 1996).
Idolatry in the context of recovery, is the framing of addiction as the sin of worshiping a false god. Such references can be found within many religious traditions. In Islam, for example, alcoholism is viewed as a fruit of the tree of Jahiliyyah (ignorance/idolatry) (Badri, 1976).
Illness Self-Management is the mastery of knowledge about one’s own illness and assumption of primary responsibility for alleviating or managing the symptoms and limitations that result from it (Corrigan, 2002). Such self-education and self-management shifts the focal point in disease management from the expert caregiver to the person with the illness (see Empowerment and Recovery Management).
|Indigenous Healers and Institutions||
Indigenous Healers and Institutions are people and organizations in the natural environment of the recovering person who offer words, ideas, rituals, relationships and other resources that help initiate and/or sustain the recovery process. They are distinguished from professional healers and institutions by training and purpose and through relationships that are culturallygrounded, enduring, and often reciprocal and non-commercialized. Indigenous healers could include a sponsor, a shaman, a pastor, a church elder, a folk healer, or a friend.
Initiating Factors (“Triggering Mechanisms”) are those pain-based and hope-based factors that spark a commitment to recovery and an entry into the personal experience of recovery. Factors which serve a recovery priming function are often quite different than those factors that later serve to sustain recovery (Humphreys, et al., 1995). Recovery-initiating factors can exist within the person and within the individual’s family and social environment. These factors can include painbased experiences, e.g. despair, exhaustion and boredom with the addictive lifestyle; AOD-related death of someone close; pressure to stop using; a humiliating experience; and/or health problems. They can also include hope-based experiences: exposure to recovery role models, a new intimate relationship, marriage, parenthood, a religious experience, or a new opportunity. This synergy of pain and hope creates a sequence in relationship to recovery: the experience of pain (I need to do this); the desire to change (I want to do this); belief in the possibility of change (I can do this); commitment (I am going to do this); experiments in abstinence (I am doing this); and a move from sobriety experimentation to stable sobriety and recovery identity (I have achieved this; this is who I now am).