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!
Debi Anson, LMSW, LCSW, CAADC
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