Magnum Opus

Magnum Opus

Everyone has a purpose.  That is, everyone has something they are truly passionate about.  Whether it be a work-related passion, a person or relationship, or even a hobby, most people have something they are passionate about.   When looking at recovery, discovering or rediscovering passion is often an overlooked part of the process.  If recovery is going to last and people can maintain a life in recovery, then they need to develop a passion for living a life in recovery.  They must get out of the sheltered bubble and really live. They must find the thing or things in life that make them want to get out of bed in the morning; find things to be passionate about.  Although this is no easy task, there are some basic tools to help people get there. 

Let’s start with some basics.  First, when people enter in addiction treatment, it is important to gain an understanding that they are not their addiction.  This is achieved through intense self-examination and an identification of what the origin of their addiction was, how was it fed, and how it manifested itself.  Follow this with a further level of understanding that true recovery is really a healing of your spirit and finding things to be passionate about, either again or beginning anew.

So this then begs the question, “if we are not our addiction, then who are we and what do we want to be”.  This is where passion comes into play.  Clients who are ultimately going to be successful and maintain a life in recovery will need to identify their passions. 

A great tool used in some of the premier treatment programs is the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) to help clients to not only(re)discover their passion but develop actionable steps to begin doing what it is they are passionate about.  Far too often clients present with a “paralysis by analysis” mindset where they do a ton of thinking, are great at talking about what it is they are passionate about, but not a whole lot of actual doing.  The WRAP plan aims to change that.  Action.  The very name of it tells part of the story.  An action plan.   More doing, less talking about, and thinking. 

Ultimately, when clients are able to identify their passion(s) and actually follow through on doing them, their chances of maintaining their recovery, anecdotally but generally accepted as accurate in the treatment community, are significantly increased.  Mr. Holland does not need to be the only one who found his Opus.