Recovery Inc. is an organization which seeks to relieve you from some of the woes that have encircled your life through the hardships of mental illness, or loss in general. The group holds meetings throughout the country which seek to provide a safe place for those who need to discuss life’s challenges in order to receive support in the process of grieving, whatever the grieving may be for.
Recovery Inc.’s concepts were first introduced by Dr. Abraham A. Low, and has existed since 1937. Dr. Low was a neuro-psychiatrist, and assisted those with both mental illness and/or drug addiction. Recovery Inc. is not a 12-step program, but instead provides steps of recovery that can be used with, or in addition to, any addiction program. Recovery Inc. is an international, non-profit and community-based group whose goal is to help reduce emotional and nervous disorders by providing meetings which help to address such issues. Anyone is welcome, from those with nervous symptoms (low energy, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, feelings of unreality) to those with anger, panic and anxiety issues. Obsessions, compulsions, phobias and other disturbing behaviors are also addressed.
Recovery Inc. defines itself by learning and receiving cognitive/behavioral techniques for taming certain behaviors an attitudes, as well as changing mind-sets that control our nervous system. People involved in Recovery Inc. typically attend meetings which address such issues, while in turn discovering that they are not alone in the issues they face.
Recovery Inc. is organized in group meetings, where members share their experiences willingly. Each meeting lasts about two hours, and each is conducted by a veteran member who’s received such honors through training and experience. A meeting typically begins with a random reading from the book of Dr. Low. In the “example period,” a member willingly discusses an issue in their life, while other members provide “recovery techniques” which suggest and provide a solution, based on the problem’s issues. These comments of helpfulness are referred to as “spotting.”
The next step is “Free-will Offering,” in which members or first-timers offer a donation to help assist Recovery Inc. in it’s progress; donations are encouraged but not mandatory. Members then take part in a “Further Spotting and Questioning Period,” in which additional comments and questions are addressed. This is followed by a “Mutual Aid Period,” in which members discuss issues more impersonally, on a person-to-person basis.
In my first experience with Recovery Inc., I was a bit skeptical. Who are these people, reading almost script-like from a sheet of paper? Is this a cult? What could I possibly contribute? Soon, I learned that newcomers to Recovery Inc. are not forced to read or participate, but simply engage in the meeting by reading and listening to what others had to say. Although it seems at first like an English Lesson (with philosophic vocabulary being mainstream,) the words (and phrases,) do ring true for anyone going through a rough time or experiencing the new, mysterious yet difficult side of mental illness. Essentially, you are not forced to contribute and you are welcomed to take notes. Anyone is welcome to attend any meeting, and as mentioned before, donations are voluntary.
The people that lead Recovery Inc. are not mental health professionals, but instead are members of the group that were once beginners like you may be. They have dealt their own hand of extreme difficulty in life and have regained control of their own lives with the help of this program. They have received training and are authorized by the Recovery Inc. Board of Directors.
Some specific yet notable points of Recovery Inc., are that there are no “Hopeless Cases.” These meetings are provided to give people a safe place to release their feelings, insecurities and fears. Everyone present at these meetings have experienced their own hardships in life; while they may not be your own, these people can and will relate to you in some sense.
Some key terms and concepts of Recovery Inc. deal specifically with temper. Temper has two faces: Angry and Fearful. The Angry Temper deals with judgment that someone has wronged you, including feelings of resentment, irritation, hatred, impatience and/or rebellion. Fearful feelings deal with feelings projected inwards, such as worries, feelings of inadequacy, shame, damage to one’s reputation and hopelessness. Factors in these feelings include one’s inner and outer environment. Our outer, or external environment, includes everything outside ourselves in which we can’t control, such as other people, past events and future events. Our inner environment includes everything we have the ability to control, but often can’t, such as feelings and sensations.
Recovery Inc. serves to “spot” these tempers and impulses by controlling what is in our power to control. These include measures and ideas which serve to impact how we act and what we think, in order to control future actions.
Here are some of my favorite “spotting” techniques, offered by Recovery Inc. :
A nervous person’s favorite past-time is self-torture.
Comfort is not a value. Mental health is a value.
Don’t get mad at yourself for getting mad.
Don’t talk to anyone who is not in the same room with you.
Duality keeps us in symptoms.
Humor is your best friend.
Imagination on fire.
Insecure thoughts become empty threats.
Lower your standards for people’s behavior.
Move the muscles and the mind will follow.
No one can take your self-importance away from you- accept yourself.
Relate your story- don’t relive it.
We can’t pick and choose when we practice recovery, we must practice it always.