|A Symbol for Recovery|
The recovery community is large and slowly growing in its power to transform lives and institutions, but it is fragmented, disorganized, and largely invisible. It needs a common symbol, like the caduceus of medicine or the scales of justice.
The recovery community includes individuals, specialized mutual support programs like AA, NA, and Al-Anon, treatment and recovery support programs, and government institutions. Its diversity has allowed it to serve a wide spectrum of people with a wide spectrum of needs and solutions. But its fragmentation kept it from developing alliances and exercising its transformative power.
The commitment to anonymity has kept recovery from being seen as a viable option and recovering people as valuable members of the larger community. Anonymity was never meant to mean anonymity, just a means to humility and a way to stress the importance of principles over personalities.
|So the symbol to the right is offered up as a common symbol for recovery. It is simple to draw, adaptable (as in the RecoveryWorks logo above) to many uses. It symbolizes that is possible to hit bottom and bounce back, but that that happens best in a community. It could be any color, but the breast cancer recovery supporters are using pink, the cardiac recovery people red, so teal seemed like a good, distinctive choice. Lettering can be incorporated into the lines, such as having the name of the organization contributing to recovery in the horizontal bar where the "bounce" takes place.|
|Understanding of the need for a common symbol is rooted in the new science of complex adaptive systems, which tries to understand how systems made up of may independent parts can work together to survive and thrive in a changing environment. A jellyfish is not an individual, but a community of single-celled animals that join together because it helps them survive and thrive. A flock of birds has no leader, but each member follows a few simple rules that let them fly around obstacles like a single organism. All members of a complex adaptive system have to be able to recognize their friends and their foes, to cooperate with the former and avoid or overcome the latter. If it wants to survive and thrive, the recovery community must be able to do the same.|
|Created 20080213 - Copyright, Robert H. Fleming 2008|