A brief reflection on recovery metaphors.

Someone from my past described the my former community/organization’s philosophy as, “When you fall, you get back on the horse and keep going.  You don’t leave.”

I left.  Figuratively speaking, I did get back up when I was ready.  But I chose a different horse.

There are so many philosophies behind healing and recovery, so many metaphors.  With distance and from an outside perspective, they can sometimes lose meaning.  What does it really mean to “be in one’s power” or “be in the alchemical process”?  What does it mean to follow the steps?  That’s all relative to the individual and the specific programs.

I am now in a Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) program, which certainly has its own language and terminology.  Many of the skills have acronyms; if I put a few together in a sentence it could sound like this:  DEAR MAN, STOP and GIVE a TIP to the FAST waiter.  Anyway, one of its main goals is to help participants/clients find their “live worth living.”  This program fits into what I want and need in my life right now.  Other therapeutic models that have served me in the past don’t hold the same sway or relevance. Talking to this person from my past seemed like talking to someone from a parallel but different world, one I used to know very well.

I told my partner about the horse metaphor.  He paused, then said, “That’s also the philosophy of the Pony Express.”

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