Recovery Talk - from the Recovery Learning Series at SupportNet.ca - Resources for Your Recovery.

Recovery is learning to enjoy life - without the use of alcohol or drugs that alter mind or mood.

It is treatment for the condition of addiction - an approach to the challenges of life - and a path to personal growth.

Recovery requires us to learn - about the true nature of addiction.

It may be personalized - but it has its necessary Principles and its Ways.

The Principles of Recovery provide direction - to the choices that we face each day.

The Ways of Recovery provide us with tools - that help us to heal - and to enjoy life on life’s terms.

This Learning Seminar explains the ways of Recovery Talk -

What you need to know - and why the way that we talk is important to recovery.


The things that we do and say have huge impact on our lives.

They affect our relations with others - the way that we feel - and the course of our lives.

The things that we do and say also change us on the inside.

Most of us talk a great deal each day - to others or to our selves - within our own mind.

Recovery Talk applies the Principles and Ways of Recovery to the things that we say.

The Ways of Recovery Talk

The first principle is to always use the ‘I’ word.

Recovery Talk comes from personal experience. It is the way that we express our selves - and it is the most likely way for others to listen.

I used to think I could do this on my own. But I learned the hard way that it’s best for me to come to meetings.

Recovery Talk does not tell others what is best for them. It talks of what I have found is best for me.

The things that I say about my self - about my experience in addiction and recovery - help me to understand and to express my own experience.

We listen to the things that we say. It helps us to learn about our selves - and we can sometimes be surprised at what comes out of us.

Others also listen to what we have to say.

Listening to Recovery Talk is not like listening to a lecture or a sermon.

Learning from Recovery Talk is more as we learn from a story that is told about somebody else. We listen and come to understand how what is said may apply to our self.

We all know the difference.

A lecture or sermon talks at us. They tell us things that we should know or should do.

Recovery Talk tells us about somebody else. We take from it what we hear.

Whatever begins with words like - You should . . .  - will distance the listener and speaker - we are all less likely to relate.

Recovery Talk draws us in - like listening to a story.

Recovery Talk is not about counseling or giving advice. It is not an intellectual discussion - and it never talks about other people.

One speaker in recovery has said - When I was in my addiction - I talked about other people - and thought about my self.

Now in recovery - I talk about my self - and think about other people.

The giving of advice may be necessary in issues of safety. But this is not the same as Recovery Talk.

Support Group

Recovery Support Group is one place to hear Recovery Talk.

A topic is chosen - and we each talk about what the topic means to us.

The group listens while I talk. They listen - relate and reflect.

Then another person speaks - on the topic - or on what my words may have stirred inside them. I listen - relate and reflect.

The rule of recovery group is to - Always use the ‘I’ word.

I speak from my experience - and you listen. Then you speak from your experience - and I listen.

It is easy to feel when a group steps out of Recovery Talk.

Cross Talk - Advice - Intellectual argument - You should and He did.

The tension within the room will rapidly rise.

Recovery Talk is not about who is right and who is wrong.

We are never wrong when talking honestly from our own experience.

My experience may be different from yours. But it is each of ours to express - and there is nothing to disagree about.

The things that we say - and the way that we talk - also affect us on our inside.

Talk about the people with whom you are angry - and feel your anger grow.

Talk about your feelings of anger - and feel the relief of expressing your self.

Talk of a long list of problems - and feel the weight of your body seem to grow.

Recovery says to talk of problems in general - their solutions in detail.

You will feel less burdened - and others will offer their support for your actions.

The things that we say affect us inside - because we listen to all that we say.

Gossip about others - and you will soon be wondering what they are saying about you.

Say something mean to the person beside you - and leave with a feeling of guilt.

Talk of the things you have to be grateful - and you will see the day as brighter.

The things that we say give messages to our self.

And this is true whether we speak out loud to others - or to our self - within our own mind.

We talk our selves into anger - despair - fear and self pity.

Or we talk to our selves in a way that is gentle - calming and reassuring that we can better our day.

We have a choice with each word and each thought.

Talk in a way that is hurtful. Or talk in a way that is healing.
In Summary

We talk with each other or with our selves all of the time.

We can do so in a way that is critical and hurtful.

Or we can talk in a way that is helpful - to our selves and to others who may listen.

Recovery Talk says to always use the ‘I’ word when talking with others.

And to speak with your self in ways that are gentle - reassuring and healing to hear.

You have now reached the end of Recovery Talk.

Look for this and other Learning Series topics at www.SupportNet.ca - Resources for Your Recovery.