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What The West Wing Teaches Us about Recovery Capital

Posted byWritten by David

The series is filled with connections to addiction and recovery … so this may be part 1 of many parts. Stay tuned, as they say.

Recovery Capital is a proxy for Resilience.

The more recovery capital we have, the better a person experiencing addiction will absorb and bounce back from a negative event.

I’m a big West Wing nerd and am currently watching the series AGAIN for the millionth time (to the ridicule of my wife). There’s a moment between Josh Lyman and Amy Gardner (among many moments) when Amy is explaining to Josh that she can bounce back from anything and she shares exactly how she does it.

“I liked the job I had. And when I lost it, I didn’t pitch anything, I didn’t stage a nutty. I fought you, I lost, I had a drink, I took a shower. ‘Cause that’s how it is in the NBA. You know what I do when I win? Two drinks.”

Aaron Sorkin is a genius writer for a lot of reasons. One of them is his ability to pack so much wisdom and learning in just a couple sentences of dialogue.

Habit with queues and rewards. Resilience. Anti-Fragility.

All of it, right there.

Being resilient requires two key elements.

  1. Access to meaningful resources (i.e., recovery capital).

  2. A defined ritual (checklist) of actions you immediately take when knocked down.

Fill up that tank. And because you play in the NBA of life, get that checklist together. Then, practice it. You have to practice your bounce back plan on all the smallest things so that it becomes a habit.

Then, when the mother of all setbacks comes along … boom … you’re Amy Gardner.

Commonly Well uses a text messaging platform to design custom automated and
personalized engagement strategies for data capture, performance monitoring, and
outcomes measurement.

Got questions or want to learn more about our Recovery Intelligence Model?

Text: OUTCOMES to 833.280.3781

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