‘Stuck In The Box’ Thinking Of ‘Mainstream’ Recovery Ideology

mainstream recovery ideologyIn episode 182 of The Elevation Recovery Podcast, Chris Scott and Matt Finch discuss strategies and concepts for beating addiction that go way against popular mainstream recovery rules.

The way you view yourself, addiction, recovery, and the world can either help you achieve your recovery goals or they can act as an obstacle. Beliefs, identity, language, self-talk, and your unique model of the world are valuable resources when optimized. As an example, Chris and Matt discuss Demi Lovato’s recent interview with Joe Rogan on the Joe Rogan Experience and specifically her ‘California Sober’ self-label (she says this means she is using cannabis in her recovery and she is fearful of offending people with her choices).

The co-hosts discuss mainstream recovery ideology and the dangers of being inauthentic with how you talk about your addiction and/or recovery for fear of upsetting others that have been indoctrinated into the ‘one-path recovery myth’ (that one path being total abstinence from all mind-altering substances for the rest of your life).

mainstream recovery ideology

Here are some of the main topics discussed in this episode:

  • How alcohol over-use can make some people get a lobster-red face
  • How alcohol can make your face swollen, puffy, dry, and how this can motivate you to quit
  • Why Chris fell in love with his day-to-day experience getting through post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) after quitting drinking
  • Why Chris is loving The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
  • The power of the present moment to reduce suffering in life
  • Why “I can’t drink because I’m an alcoholic” is a statement that can be improved upon in a more empowering way
  • Why Chris loves red light for reading books at night.
  • Matt’s benefits from reading The Power of Now and another book by Eckhart Tolle
  • Questioning why mainstream recovery ideology states that someone is in recovery from addiction for the rest of life, even if it has been 50 years (eg “wouldn’t a person with that long of sobriety be fully recovered if they’ve done so much work for so long?)
  • Tension myositis syndrome (TMS) theory of chronic pain
  • Why Matt and Chris love Dr. John Sarno’s books about TMS
  • Why Matt thinks anyone with chronic pain that hasn’t improved with traditional treatment should check out MindBodyMedicine.com — to learn about an alternative pain treatment therapy that has helped him and countless others to end their chronic pain
  • Traversing the bio/psycho/social/spiritual pillars of addiction recovery
  • Why Chris and Matt don’t think people should be defined by their stubborn neural pathways (addicted-brain)
  • Why Demi Lovato says she is ‘California Sober’ — and how she told Joe Rogan that cannabis is helping her to stay off heroin and other hard drugs
  • Why Demi Lovato is so afraid of offending people by the fact that she is using cannabis for ‘recovery’ (according to her on the Joe Rogan Experience)
  • Drugs are not bad (not even heroin, Valium, or alcohol) – Only a person’s relationship to a substance can be good, bad, or neutral
  • Why diversity of thought, opinions, beliefs, and models of the world with open and civil discourse is the way forward for progressing the field of addiction
  • Why Chris and Matt utilize and recommend “taking what you like and leaving the rest”
  • How to ‘own your recovery’ and not care what anyone else thinks about how you’re staying healthy in life

mainstream recovery ideology



  • Chris Scott

    Chris Scott founded Fit Recovery in 2014 to help people from around the world dominate alcohol dependence and rebuild their lives from scratch. A former investment banker, he recovered from alcohol dependence using cutting-edge methods that integrate nutrition, physiology, and behavioral change. Today, Chris is an Alcohol Recovery Coach and the creator of an online course called Total Alcohol Recovery 2.0.

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