This is a question I have been struggling with for a few months now, and it’s one reason I haven’t posted for so long. Does immersing yourself in the “recovery world” promote a sense of “unwellness”?
If “not drinking” is now part of my everyday life, and if I am not constantly having cravings, or struggling to stay abstinent then am I in recovery?
I am certainly not thinking I am cured. No, I have had enough experiences to know that there is no going back. No “controlled drinking” for me. No “just one drink”.
But I also do not agree with the statement often cited in AA that “I have an illness”. It is not something caught or inherited. Drinking, for me at least, was a coping mechanism for life. I couldn’t see any other way to cope with life without a drink, and the harder life became, the more I needed to drink. And the more I drank, the less effective the drink became…and so the vicious circle started. But I began my journey to break that cycle back in April 2014.
For me, being an alcoholic isn’t a chronic disease. It was just acute for a very long time… And to say “I am in recovery” could be seen as tantamount to a well-earned “badge of honor”. I am not turning my back on all those that helped me, I am not being complacent to think I am cured. I am just struggling with the concept of whether defining oneself as being in recovery somehow links one to a past I want to move on from.
I have been convinced for the last few months that by dwelling on recovery, by following recovery blogs and by immersing myself in the whole addiction and recovery world that I am somehow prolonging a sense of “unwellness”. I have really come to believe now that for me, after 2 years of not drinking; that to say “My name is xyz and I’m an alcoholic” really doesn’t help. It puts me in the negative place of being a victim, a sufferer.
But I am not suffering. I am not a victim. I am not an alcoholic, I am sober, I don’t drink, but am I in recovery?
I don’t know.