Steven Washington’s tender text Recovering You merges traditional and modern practices into a holistic approach to recovering from addiction.
Trained in traditional Chinese medicine, Washington used qigong, a system of movements and breathing meditations similar to tai chi, in his recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. Before that, he spent years avoiding conflict and dismissing his own identity and needs. With techniques including mindfulness meditation, cultivating positive self-talk, and building social support, his book shares actionable steps and wisdom for constructing a solid foundation for addiction recovery.
Each chapter is consistent and reliable in structure, with exploratory expositions, practical advice from Washington’s vast “recovery toolbox,” and thought-provoking journaling questions for self-discovery. Qigong exercises, featuring helpful illustrations and step-by-step instructions, conclude each chapter, tying their lessons together with applicable movements to induce calmness and energy and to help to process the emotions brought up in the book’s discussions.
Traditional Chinese medicine’s understanding of wellness combines with psychology and modern knowledge of addiction to broaden the book’s scope. The first chapter’s instructions on self-massage on the hands, feet, and ears incorporate both acupressure points and a meditative attitude to enhance the effectiveness of the practice. Additional experiences from years-sober individuals bolster the book’s authority, expanding upon but not relying on the twelve steps from Alcoholics Anonymous for elevated insight.
Washington’s caring, empathetic voice is the book’s most prodigious strength. “We” and “us” language invites connection and encourages self-discovery as the chapters progress. The guidance for creating a personal network is sympathetic to the fact that many recovering addicts lack family support. Authentic explorations of addicts’ behaviors, like hiding from one’s emotions, encourage honest self-reflection without judgment.
Recovering You is an insightful text drawing on sober wisdom; it celebrates optimism and the possibility of navigating recovery from addiction.
Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.