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What does a poker hand have to do with recovery?

What cards did you get dealt?

The way I like to look at both active addiction and recovery is by examining five essential elements or “the five card draw”.

These cards: biological, social, mental, emotional and spiritual factors, all play a part in our susceptibility to addiction. But we can also make many lifestyle changes to combat the hand we were dealt.

  • Biological factors such as our genetic predisposition to addiction can be fought with abstinence, healthy diet, exercise and attending to all of our medical and dental needs.

  • Socially, many of our habits, both healthy and unhealthy, were modeled for us by family and peers. We can break those chains by establishing new relationships.

  • Emotionally we can learn skills to develop emotional regulation and address the emotions that caused us to actively participate in our addictions in the first place.

  • Mentally, we all have that voice in our head that can either build us up or put us down. Work on developing positive self-talk and learn how to identify the voice of your addiction.

  • And finally, spiritually, we need to learn to get quiet enough to hear that still inner voice and to discern what is true for us. Take a look at your five cards and see what you can do to improve the hand you were dealt!


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