Narrative Self-Constitution and Recovery
by Doug McConnell
Why do some addicted people chronically fail in their goal to recover, while others succeed? On one
established view, recovery depends, in part, on efforts of intentional planning agency. This seems
right, however, firsthand accounts of addiction suggest that the agent's self-narrative
also has an
influence. This paper presents arguments for the view that self-narratives
have independent, self-fulfilling
momentum that can support or undermine self-governance.
of addicted persons can entrench addiction and alienate the agent from practically feasible recovery
plans. Strategic re-narration
can redirect narrative momentum and therefore support recovery in
ways that intentional planning alone cannot.