Sleep/health talk (and the attendant vision of full health in all areas) brings me back to an article from William White, I recently re-read.

There is a snapshot that I have in my mind, that I experienced in my life and in countless others, of full recovery, that is belied by segments of every side of these issues. This has even lopped over into the language of the new Recovery Movement and is sagaciously discussed in this essay, Rethinking the Characterization of Addiction as a “Relapsing Condition” from our go-to researcher/author Bill White (and Paula Davies Scimeca).

It is not that the movement language is wrong, per se, it’s that as we go down this road of growing understanding there are subtleties to the bigger picture which can, at first glance, appear gray.

Gray often makes us nervous. Many of us humans long for simple answers during times of tumult and fast-paced changes, which is what we see going on politically right now; our desire for simple answers to counter feelings of overwhelm from such complex sets of problems in this world.

Historically speaking that has often led to disastrous results. An antidote is to stretch our awareness in understanding toward these (seemingly) gray areas. This is not moral relativity I am discussing here, but deeper understanding.

Bill White’s article walks us through some subtleties, I’ll stick to one quote here that best confers my experience;

“The phrase “chronically relapsing” applied to SUDs misrepresents the natural course of SUDS by misapplying findings from clinical research populations and clinical experience with the most severe, complex, and chronic SUDS to the larger pool of SUDs found in the community. Recovery, not prolonged disability and death, is the norm for the long-term course of most substance use disorders.” {emphasis mine}

That’s the bottom line.

Language can be a funny thing.  To these eyes and ears, guilting over language used is as inappropriate as guilting over the presence of addiction in someone’s life.  If we are to attract allies to our battle with addiction in America then the focus on full, thriving recovery is the only stance needed.

Recovery can give a new found freedom which grows into all areas of life including overall health. That is the most important message (in my humble opinion) we convey to the world.

The rest we can relax about.