The term “geographical cure” or “pulling a geographic” is the belief that changing one’s physical location, such as moving to a new city or state, will solve their problems, including their addiction or other issues.
Some people in recovery may feel that their current environment is triggering or contributing to their addiction or other problems, and believe that a change of scenery will help them start fresh and leave their troubles behind. This approach in early recovery often doesn’t work out in the long run, as the underlying issues that led to the addiction or other problems typically go with the person wherever they go.
In fact, the idea of the “geographical cure” is often seen as a common misconception in 12-step programs, and it’s recommended that individuals in recovery focus on addressing their internal struggles and developing healthy coping mechanisms, rather than relying on external changes to solve their problems.
Instead, individuals are encouraged to work on their recovery in their current environment, develop a support network, and learn healthy ways to manage stress and other triggers that may lead to relapse. The idea is to face and address one’s problems, rather than trying to run away from them.
This is similar to another common phrase spoken in 12 step rooms – “wherever you go, there you are”.