Recovering vs Recovered

     Not sure why, but folks in AA look at me like I'm evil when I say I'm a recovered alcoholic. This is especially fascinating considering the title page of Alcoholics Anonymous clearly states, The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have RECOVERED From Alcoholism (caps used for emphasis - yes, pun intended).

     If we are "recovering" or "in recovery", then we have achieved physical sobriety but continue to struggle. We are restless, irritable and discontent. We still want to drink. We fight to stay sober and get through each day. Terms like dry drunk and white knuckling it are reserved for those who are merely recovering.

     Why does this sound harsh and why make a fuss about the distinction?

     Because being in recovery is not the solution that AA prescribes. AA makes no mention that its program in intended to leave an individual suffering, craving, fighting and utterly miserable. And what sucks is that people commonly think that any alcoholic or addict who gets clean is always on the edge of relapse for the rest of their shitty, selfish lives.

     The truth is that AA is a rigorous program of action that brings a sober alcoholic or addict from "recovering" to "recovered". Recovered is what we can achieve once we become willing to go to any lengths to get better, once we fearlessly embark on the Twelve Step actions laid out in the AA text book (The Big Book). When we have this spiritual experience and a psychic change occurs, our once broken minds become fixed and we are sane again. We no longer suffer from any obsession to drink or use drugs. We are no longer out of control emotionally. We no longer whine and complain and suck others dry. We no longer fight and struggle through every second of the day. In fact, a natural urge to repel drugs and alcohol lives in us and becomes stronger and stronger with each spiritual action we take.

     When we become recovered, people no longer see us as alcoholics. While in recovery, we still act like children and remain enslaved by our self-centered frame of mind. Recovered, we act like adults who can tend to the needs of others.

     Drinking doesn't have to be a problem for alcoholics, nor drugs for addicts. Life, work, emotions and relationships don't have to be a problem. If they are for anyone out there, then there is something wrong or missing in your program. I'm not trying to be a dick, I'm just saying that it blows my mind that there are so many thousands of men and women in AA who are fighting desperately to stay sober, when AA is, in fact, The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered From Alcoholism.

     The solution is sitting right there for any of us lazy knuckleheads to harness and run with. We just have to open the book and do the work.

God, please show me what Your will for me is, and please give me the power to carry it out...


  1. Thanks, this clears it up nicely. Aa big book repeatedly says recover. Read one aa site that said old timers used recover. New age (their expression) used recovery. I have four years. Worked steps, sponsor, am a sponsor my self, spiritually changed and grown. My obsession craving, gone from that date. I feel recovered includes mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and socially. And like a person recovered from a heart attack, I have things to do to maintain my life,

  2. As a sober person for nearly 24 years, I will tell you this. Revering vs. recovered.... SEMANTICS. If we work our program we are free from the physical allergy and the mental obsession of alcohol. Personally I introduce myself as an alcoholic, and don't feel the need to modify it one way or another. I say recovering, when referring to dealing with my disease. I do this because I am cognizant of complacency with this disease. Additionally "recovered" is a term that can confuse new comers. I will say however, I have recovered from a hopeless state of mind and body, but that doesn't mean I don't still have the disease.

    So, recovered or recovering.... who cares, if what you are doing works, keep doing it.

  3. There are abundant contradictions in the 'program' that I have a hard time dealing with, for if we are to be HONEST as alluded to and the 'Big Book' says, "it was as if alcohol didn't exist', I refrain from both phrases. The word is Healed. This goes way beyond 'semantics' in my experience and in others. It's a matter of Faith. "Faith without works is dead" is written in the big book straight from the Book of James, and it says, A Power Greater than Ourselves could restore us to Sanity. We were 'reborn', and "The religious folks were right!" The Serenity Prayer (which has been cropped and is not the full prayer) ..but in part includes.. "Grant us the Wisdom....". Solomon asked for Wisdom and God gave it to him. The program refers to a Loving God, yet it was written long ago about a High Priest (HP) and " Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.…" and he said to another priest, "You must be reborn to See the Kingdom of God" (which is in your midst all the time, but they had eyes and could not see, having ears they could not hear" Hebrews 8:1 Now the main point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest (HP- Higher Power), who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in Heaven" For You, Lord, are Good, and ready to Forgive, And abundant in Lovingkindness to all who call upon You" and as far as Higher Power and asking for 'the Wisdom to Know the Difference/" "but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles f FOOLISHNESS, but to those who are The Called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ The Power of God and The Wisdom of God." so, I'f I'm to be HONEST in meetings then He is THE SOLUTION to the Problem but In Faith." The phrase hitting rock-bottom is interesting for He said, "He who falls on The Rock will be broken, but he on whom the Rock falls will be turned to dust" . If we are Honest, then why can't people give credit where credit is due? People will remain for ever enslaved by the program because the program couldn't be honest to begin with and it drives me nuts now, and hurts to see people continue to suffer and be enslaved. One is only but a servant to he or what enslaves him. Ephesians 5:18, " So then do not be foolish, but Understand what The Will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,..." I'm no longer an 'addict' which is psychology term. Why are we using psychology terms in what is to be a spiritual program? And the broad road to happy destiny? "Narrow is the road that leads to Life, but broad is the road that leads to destructuion, and few are those that find it". Do you or we want a broad road leading in the end to destruction. Though that broad road referred to could have been taken from Isaiah, "There will be a highway there..." of course, back then highways were multilane highways, but a Higher Way. There is no such thing as a mental allergy. That has since been debunked, it was only a theory of one man, and alcoholic himself. Here is the dilemma, since we are to be entirely honest with ourselves if I tell the truth that the program would have been about The Christ but was distorted due to inputs from atheists so now the Truth is warped it might hurt people's sobriety, but if I go and don't say anything I'm then by omission, a liar.


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