‘Recovering Joy: A mindful life after addiction’
Addiction recovery is a journey paved with numerous challenges and hardships. It is nothing short of a serious commitment to oneself that is based on the urge to break free from the shackles of addiction. “Recovering Joy: A mindful life after addiction” is authored by Kevin Griffin, a Buddhist teacher, author and speaker. He presents another side to the concept of recovery from an addiction: It is a celebration of life, reclaiming the ability to live a happier life — your way.
“Recovering takes us through many difficult steps of discipline, humility, and self-realization,” Griffin says. “In doing so, many of us forget that we are capable and deserving of basic happiness.”
From problem focus to solution focus
In his book, Griffin proposes a transition from living in the problem toward living in a solution. A mindset of self-victimization that often prevails in recovery sabotages an individual’s chances at recovery and happiness. Those in recovery often make the mistake of emphasizing and reflecting on their negative qualities to be a basis for healing. This establishes a trend of making the problem a fixture in life rather than focusing on the solution for it. Griffin reiterates that this is what needs to change.
Every recovering addict deserves the happiness he or she is working toward. “Recovering Joy” offers a comprehensive, in-depth look into how positive mind states can be achieved within the challenging dynamics of addiction. It takes reflections, self-inquiry and mindfulness practices. Griffin reveals a way to re-establish connection with one’s core values, cultivate healthy and fulfilling relationships, and rediscover the joys of life along the journey of recovery.
A reader review states: “Kevin Griffin has a history of skillfully identifying the intersection of 12 Step Recovery and Buddhism and hits it out of the park again with this book, his best yet.”
In the following excerpt from the chapter called, “Not Unhappy,” Griffin writes:
“Before I got sober, I thought [happiness] meant something like being in a good mood all the time or having loads of fun with no responsibilities. That’s not how I define happiness now. In fact, several years ago when stuck in a long period of difficult moods, depression, and irritability, I found myself saying, ‘I’m depressed, but I’m not unhappy’ . . . What I was saying was that nothing was wrong with my life.”
If you or a loved one is currently seeking recovery, this book provides valuable guidance and practices for:
- Rediscovering a sense of purpose and self-worth in every context of life.
- Developing a personal moral and ethical belief system.
- Establishing a sense of connection, not just with others but with one’s own spirituality and with nature as well.
- Discovering a renewed focus on the elements of fun and sense of humor as a resource for healing.
About the author
Griffin is also the author of “One Breath at a Time: Buddhism and the Twelve Steps,” the breakthrough book that established him as a leader in the mindful recovery movement.
As a longtime Buddhist practitioner and 12-step participant, Griffin has become a leading teacher at several international Buddhist centers, treatment centers, professional conferences and academic settings. With specialization in helping people in recovery connect with meditation and a progressive understanding of the 12 steps, his workshops involve a combination of meditation, mindful speech, formal discussions and day-long activities involving dialogue.
After getting sober in 1985, he returned to school, earning his B.A. in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and his M.F.A. in creative writing from UC Irvine. He began teaching meditation in 1996 while working as a technical writer. He now writes, teaches, makes music, and spends time with his wife and daughter.
Written by Sana Ahmed, Sovereign Health Group writer