Recovery as an Autistic addict: Forging your own path

As an Autistic person, I prefer things to be black and white, yes or no, good or bad. This made life all-the-more complicated when I was embarking on my journey into addiction recovery.

Recovery from addiction is a world of grey areas. This monochromatic world however, is dominated by people who insist that it IS black and white.

“Come to us! We have the only thing that will save you!” They cry.

“If you don’t work this program, you will die or be institutionalised”.

The twelve-steppers insist that they have the answer, while others will tell you that the twelve-step program is a cult. Some will tell you that only abstinence from everything can save you, while others will tell you that moderation is key.

The truth is, you have to find your own way through recovery. Experiment, try different things, see what works for you.

Having the support of your peers is a good start, but ultimately recovery is a solitary journey. By our solipsistic nature, no other human will fully understand your journey.

And thus is the comundrum of being an autistic addict in recovery. Yet another way that recovery systems are not designed for us.

Published by David Gray-Hammond

David Gray-Hammond is an autistic mental health and addiction advocate living in the South East of England. He is in recovery from addiction and psychosis, as well as other complex mental health conditions. He was diagnosed as autistic seven months after achieving sobriety, and is resolved to share his experiences with the world in the hopes of being the person that he needed when he was younger.

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