Can One Ever Be 'Recovered' from an Addiction?
I’m curious ... people in AA and NA seem to talk about constantly being in recovery from their alcoholism or drug addiction. But surely at some point you go from being in recovery from addiction to being recovered from it?
I understand that it’s something that can ‘come back’ at any time because the risk of relapse is always there when dealing with addiction, but surely you eventually you reach a point where you feel that you’ve got a handle on things and things pretty much in control?
What do you think?
Interesting question. You know, at the end of the day I believe in using whatever works for you – and not paying too much attention to various labels. Some people like to stick to referring to themselves as always in recovery from their addiction – maybe because it helps keep them vigilant – while others are confident enough to say they’ve recovered from their addiction. And others might not even like to use the word recovery at all. Like I said, use what works for you and what you feel comfortable with.
In my case, I’m comfortable enough to feel that I have recovered from my addictions. I never forget where I have come from and the mess my life used to be - because that keeps me humble and provides me with the necessary motivation to continuously work on ‘me.’
And I’m a firm believer that the more ‘me’ work we do – the more likely we are to grow in self-awareness and undergo the necessary internal shifts that will help us is in being able to leave self-destructive tendencies like addiction behind us.
Whether that’s work you do through formal 12 step programs
like AA or NA – or through your own path ultimately also doesn’t matter. The fellowship 12 step programs provide can make a tremendous difference, but there are many people who have recovered from their addictions without using any formal addiction recovery program.
So simply find something that works for you, don’t worry too much about particular labels and everything will no doubt work out for the best.