We’ve written about perpetual recovery throughout the years in various different ways and it always seems resonates with people once they understand what is meant by this term.  The differences between The Freedom Model vs. The Treatment Model are clear in so many ways, and our approach towards perpetual recovery all the more defines us as the true alternative to treatment. What we mean by perpetual recovery is that people are perpetually sick with an imaginary disease that renders them powerless. For those in perpetual recovery, their future is always defined and directed by their past struggles. Instead of looking forward they are forever looking in the rear view mirror running from what they still really want to do and what they’re afraid will ultimately destroy them. We’ve tackled this topic from all sorts of different angles because so many people are caught in the perpetual recovery trap, and most don’t even realize they are trapped. Perpetual recovery from an addiction is based on several myths that we debunk throughout The Freedom Model for Addictions text.  Here is a list of some of them:

  1. You need “forever recovery” because you will be fighting a “forever addiction” (even after you’ve abstained).
  2. Once a drug addict, always a drug addict – so you need perpetual recovery to stave off falling back into inevitable “active” addiction.
  3. You have the disease of addiction, and so you will need to stay in perpetual recovery so relapse is prevented.
  4. Substances have power, therefore you need a recovery plan to gain the strength to stay away from alcohol and other drugs.

Now let’s start debunking these myths.

  1. The idea that you are an addict or alcoholic after you’ve quit is a construct of the cult of Alcoholics Anonymous. By making members proclaim themselves “alcoholics” every time they introduce themselves – even after many years of sobriety – the AA organization keeps the fear of drinking alive in the AA membership ranks. It makes their “plan of recovery” have greater value in the “fight” against member’s alcohol addiction. It brings the concept of drinking heavily (being an “alcoholic) in the past back into the present tense (even while abstaining for many years.) On its face this is nonsensical (if you don’t drink, you clearly are not powerless over alcohol!) However, if you back up the claim that you must identify and self label as an alcoholic with enough other fearful rhetoric, the AA member will be more likely to stick around the meeting structure hoping it keeps them sober. This keeps AA financially solvent as each member puts a dollar in the basket at each meeting they attend, and they buy “AA Approved” literature, thereby funding AA World Services, Inc. Without instilling fear that a member can never leave AA and must “always be in recovery…or else,” the meeting membership would be unneeded and therefore the organization would go bankrupt. Founder Bill Wilson’s dream to die a millionaire proved true, and the theory of perpetual recovery he hatched in 1939 has remained a staple in his cult ever since.
  2. Bill Wilson’s theory that only an alcoholic can effectively help another alcoholic (or drug addict) combined with the need to work with another alcoholic to maintain your own sobriety is another twist of the perpetual recovery racket. If you create a clandestine meeting structure where only the members can be seen as the cure for addiction, you will own that market. It creates a self-sealing marketplace. Again, on its face the idea that only a self subscribing “alcoholic” can be effective helping another self subscribing “alcoholic” (or drug addict), is absolutely ridiculous. Let’s face it, it’s not as if every habitual drinker died prior to AA’s theories. People got over their alcohol habits and they did so on their own in vast numbers for millennia.
  3. Bill’s disease concept, allergy theory, and alcoholism as an illness ideals (all of which he coined) have taken root in our society since his original book went to print in 1939, Alcoholics Anonymous. The basis for this “disease of addiction” claim is so faulty that it took religious institutions, government and the entire pharmaceutical industry’s might for 70 years to provide a basis for people to fall in line with this myth. But once they did, the entire need for perpetual recovery became a natural outgrowth of this mythology. If indeed addiction is a disease, then recovery is a 24/7 proposition for those afflicted. The sad part about this charade is the fact that prior to Bill Wilson’s cult, people moved on from their habits with amazing ease. Nothing has contributed more to the loss of life in regards to substances, than the hopelessness propagated by the false disease narrative and the empty promises of a person who is doomed to struggle in recovery for life. The good news is all the myths wrapped up in the disease nonsense is plucked apart in The Freedom Model for Addictions, and if you desire complete freedom from both addiction AND recovery, you can have it!
  4. By making the issue of substance use an issue about strength, the recovery industry has become the providers of “strength” in the form of providing “support”, providing “recovery meetings” and “treatment” as means to gain the strength to overcome a battle against substance use. But the Freedom Model does the opposite. It tells the truth that addiction is not a matter of strength. We all have inherent power that exists in our free will – in other words, all human beings can choose differently. So by changing the conversation to making informed choices through implementing infinite free will, The Freedom Model removes the lack of strength argument completely. There is no battle to be waged; there are just choices to be made. What a profound truth! No one need feel weak ever again.

Throughout history, myths have held human lives hostage – traps of our own making. Unfortunately Bill Wilson’s influence in creating the need for perpetual recovery is one of the most degrading forces in Western culture’s history. It is time to reverse these lies, and move mankind forward – embracing our innate free will to choose a different life for ourselves and learn to move past the addiction and recovery constructs for good. This is exactly what we do at our Freedom Model Retreats.  We empower individuals to move beyond addiction for good and escape the treatment and recovery trap that is perpetual recovery.