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Switch to Forum Live View Recovered vs Recovering?
5 years ago  ::  Sep 12, 2009 - 2:27PM #1
Seefan
Posts: 3,969

What is the difference between recovered and recovering?  The Big Book uses both terms.  Do both terms somehow mean the same thing?


 


 Undecided

Today the one overriding need is unity and harmony among the beloved of the Lord, for they should have among them but one heart and soul and should, so far as in them lieth, unitedly withstand the hostility of all the peoples of the world ... (Baha'i Writings)
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5 years ago  ::  Sep 12, 2009 - 7:48PM #2
mikeincolorado
Posts: 393

One uses the word "recovering" when they are still trying to figure out how to claim credit for the reprieve. That and to prove one's humility.


"Recovered" is the term to describe alcoholics who no longer require credit, having nothing to prove. Wink


Not a judgement, just an observation. They probably don't apply to the context of the Big Book, but I'm confident they are VERY accurate in the context of real life dealings with alcoholics.

Mike

*******************************************************
"When I've learned enough to really live, I'll be old enough to die" - Johnny Cash
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5 years ago  ::  Sep 13, 2009 - 2:49PM #3
Seefan
Posts: 3,969

Sep 12, 2009 -- 7:48PM, mikeincolorado wrote:

One uses the word "recovering" when they are still trying to figure out how to claim credit for the reprieve. That and to prove one's humility.


"Recovered" is the term to describe alcoholics who no longer require credit, having nothing to prove. Not a judgement, just an observation. They probably don't apply to the context of the Big Book, but I'm confident they are VERY accurate in the context of real life dealings with alcoholics.




CryInteresting ... 23 views so far and one reply. Come on people! Be brave! If this is not to your liking, start another topic ...


Interesting thoughts Mike! When I considered myself recovering, I was in the throws of untreated alcoholism. I really didn't know who I was therefore I wasn't really working on the underlying cause of my drinking. I wasn't working on the steps! I was coasting along in AA. But I was not a happy, joyous being as the Big Book says.


Once I started working the steps and got a handle on what an alcoholic is and who I was in this respect my situation began to change. As a result, I was able to have the obsession and craving taken away. Today I consider myself a recovered alcoholic simply because the symptoms of alcoholism, the craving and obsession, no longer apply to my life. I suppose, as you say, I no longer need to give credit.


Today I'm not trying to prove God in my life or to convince myself of same. What I know is that I'm all right! Probably on a subconscious level I'm no longer ready to blame or justify if I don't make it - I've made it. Now I just need to keep growing along spiritual lines ...


Smile 

Today the one overriding need is unity and harmony among the beloved of the Lord, for they should have among them but one heart and soul and should, so far as in them lieth, unitedly withstand the hostility of all the peoples of the world ... (Baha'i Writings)
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5 years ago  ::  Oct 02, 2009 - 7:36PM #4
andrewcyrus
Posts: 4,253

Greeting seefan, and Mike,


 


Nice to see a couple of real alcoholics step up to the plate and share their "powerful" experience.


The big book describes alcohol as cunning, baffling and powerful without help it is to much for us.


I prefer to assign responsibility and accountability to the finger bones, connected to the hand bone, connected to the arm bones, connected to the head bone of the pitiful and demoralized alcoholic who somehow has thought himself recovered from a life threatening illness.


A self proclaimed recovered/graduate of the steps of alcoholics anonymous.


Well then lets get real and assign these descriptors to the real alcoholic. He would then be cunning, baffling and powerful and quit assigning the problem to the hot liquid in the bottle.


How many meetings have I heard this necessasry and  ego deflating reading?


"We alcoholics are men and women who have lost the abililty to control our drinking . We know that no real alcoholic ever recovers control. All of us felt at times that we were regaining control, but such intervals -usually brief-were inevitably followed by still less control, which led in time to pitiful and incomprehenisble demoralization. We are convinced to a man that alcoholics of are type are in the grips of a progressive illness. Over any considerable period we get worse, never better."


It was this prognosis and my own honest assessment of my losing battle with my own consumption of alcohol that got my full attention.


The problem will always be me, not the bottle.. Am I so recovered that I can now have a drink or two? No,  that is the cunning nature of the disease. The mental obsession to prove that I can be fully recovered enough to join the normal class of drinkers.. Maybe stop going to those A & A meetings since by all my "powers" of intellectual growth and pro-longed periods of abstinence and sobriety that I might deserve to drink like men of the normal  class... "The persistence of this illusion is astonishing"


The ego of the recovered alcoholic is about control, and the cessation of participating in the process of the twelves steps of alcoholics anonymous. If your are recovered then the next logical step is to not take the cure.. Cunning?


The steps are a lifelong spiritual process, to attack a progressive and fatal life four fold spiritual, emotional, mental and physical disease of alcoholism.


I consider myself a recovering alcoholic. The steps are a lifelong process, the disease is in arrest as long as I am particpating in my recovery process.


Until God calls me up and refits my physical body with the new and eternally improved fully recovered version I am still in that state of the body/ flux also assigned to progressive gravity and progressive alcoholism. Over any considerable time we get worse never better.


I don't out think my alcoholism, I am not under the delusion that I am able to keep myself sober. So I turn it over to God and get busy helping others in recovery. It was God who removed that obsession to drink and that reprieve is only daily as long as I give credit to where it is due rather than self glorify the process. That is God gives me a daily reprieve and not a guarantee for future "recovered" sobriety.


Have a great and sober day in recovery, one day at a time.


His kingdom come his will be done. His recovery is daily. - Give us this day. 


Andy


'In twenty nine years I have never caught a nonalcoholic wondering whether or not they were an alcoholic. It's always been an alky that's trying to figure out some way to beat this rap" Chuck C. A New Pair of Glasses. 


 


 

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5 years ago  ::  Oct 03, 2009 - 12:16AM #5
mikeincolorado
Posts: 393

Andrew,


I might suggest the word recovered can be misuderstood. I'm a real alcoholic, and I've recovered.


"We, of Alcoholics Anonymous are more the one hundred men and women who have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. To show other alcoholics precisely how we have recovered is the main purpose of this book"


So they recovered. And they wanted to show others how to do the same. Either that's true, or not. If that's not true, then AA is nothing more than a bunch of blowhards talking to each other, relying on their collective human power to out-maneuver alcoholism. And I wouldn't have stopped drinking. Fortunately for me, that isn't the case. It's possible to recover from alcoholism. I chose to decide it was 100 % true, and that I was going to take the same actions to achieve the same result. Once that result occurs, I can state with confidence that "I have recovered", and know that it's not a subtle trap, a trick played by my psyche. Truly, it's not arrogance, rather it is humility manifest. And it is nothing like I thought it would be before this power affected the change.


Oct 2, 2009 -- 7:36PM, andrewcyrus wrote:


The ego of the recovered alcoholic is about control, and the cessation of participating in the process of the twelves steps of alcoholics anonymous. If your are recovered then the next logical step is to not take the cure.. Cunning?




Nonsense. It's only 'logical' if one hasn't recovered, if the psychic change hasn't been experienced. Part of being recovered means ego no longer has power. There is nothing to be overcome, nothing that requires a 'cure'. Recovered in this context means the 12 steps have been taken and - as designed - they enable one to find a power which will solve their alcoholic problem. Period. There is no more "process", no method for me to bend my will to. Instead, my will is surrendered completely to a power greater than myself, the power deep down within every man woman and child. I no longer waste my days in worry about going back to drink, because the desire has been removed - because I pay the price. The destruction of self-centeredness. 


The steps are not a clever way to "manage" alcoholism, to rely on myself to be on my guard. That method doesn't work. Never has. "If I help others enough, if I take the steps good enough, then I can 'earn' my reprieve". That overlooks the fact that grace can't be earned. It can only be accepted. It's a popular way to approach the steps, but in my case it was used as a way to avoid relying on a power greater than myself.


Alcohol is powerful. Thing is, the power in Step 2 is MORE powerful. Greater than. At what point do we acknowledge and focus our attention on that, and stop trying to limit the power of Godasweunderstoodhim working in our lives?


My opinion is that people who focus on being "recovering alcoholics" continue to suffer - and prehaps even relish that suffering as some badge of honor - because they are either unwilling or unable to do what it takes to destroy self centeredness. Like Ebby told Bill had to happen. The book tells us it's possible. The people who have recovered set a powerful example of possibility as well. But the price has to be paid.

Mike

*******************************************************
"When I've learned enough to really live, I'll be old enough to die" - Johnny Cash
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5 years ago  ::  Oct 03, 2009 - 4:01AM #6
Qwijibo2112
Posts: 1

To me using the spiritual principal of acceptance, both terms are right. I think it is a personal choice and may depend on how you define both terms? For me, I will always be a recovering alcoholic. I think this because unlike the man who achieves enlightenment and becomes a Buddah, I will always be striving for growth and never reach perfection. This is MY personal view only and makes my program work for ME. I am the most important person iin my recovery, but not in the program or the fellowship. I fully support both points of view. When I was new in the program I "focused on the similarities and not the differences" because I found the the differences soured my view of the program. Now that I have some time in the program, I have become much more accepting of different points of view and love to hear the differences. I may not agree with them, but I feel no need to. My agreement or opinion has no bearing on the world. When I label something, I negate it. Don't believe that is my Higher Powers will for me. In the words of Rodney King, "can't we all just get along"  :o)

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5 years ago  ::  Oct 03, 2009 - 8:34AM #7
Seefan
Posts: 3,969

Oct 3, 2009 -- 4:01AM, Qwijibo2112 wrote:

In the words of Rodney King, "can't we all just get along"  :o)



Here's a quote we may consider:  "Through the clash of personal opinions ... the spark of truth is often ignited, and Divine guidance revealed. The friends should therefore not feel discouraged at the differences of opinion that may prevail among the members of an Assembly, for these, as experience has shown, and as the Master's words attest, fulfill a valuable function in all Assembly deliberations."  (Baha'i Writings)


I have diabetes and ready to have my leg cut off because of poor circulation and a doctor tells me that my last resort is to take this medicine for the rest of my life. I take it and a minor miracle happens. Circulation is restored to my limbs and my leg is restored to normal. I continue to take the medicine on a daily bases and live a happy and normal life. Now I am the same as everyone else except I need to take my medicine daily. Am I recovered from diabetes but still a diabetic, or am I still recovering? To me, I am recovered! I no longer suffer from this disease although I am still a diabetic and need a daily reprieve through my medicine ...


This is basically my thought process when looking at alcoholism. I am an alcoholic as described in the Big Book with all of the craving and obsessions mentioned. I felt hopeless before AA and could not stop drinking and stay stopped. My life was spiraling down hill. I was getting into a lot of difficulties. I had about reached the end of my rope!


Now I've been in AA and sober for 32 yrs. (not that time matters).  For the last 20+ yrs I've considered myself 'recovered' as described in the BB. I suffer no ill effects from being 'recovered', quite the contrary. I feel much more adjusted to life and living. My spiritual life didn't diminish at all and if anything increased. Today I try not to live in the disease but in the cure by practicing AA spiritual principles in all my affairs. Since realizing, for me, that I'm recovered, I've been able to continue to grow in my understanding of who and what my Higher Power is in my life. I still go to AA meetings on a regular bases and still sponsor others. And generally, I believe my ego is in check as I trudge the road of happy destiny. I believe that the only difference between me and the other 90%+ of the population is that I cannot drink safely ...


These are only my thoughts, but to each his own! I don't know if there is any right or wrong, it's just where I am in my journey ...


Wink 

Today the one overriding need is unity and harmony among the beloved of the Lord, for they should have among them but one heart and soul and should, so far as in them lieth, unitedly withstand the hostility of all the peoples of the world ... (Baha'i Writings)
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5 years ago  ::  Oct 03, 2009 - 1:45PM #8
andrewcyrus
Posts: 4,253

 


 


Thanks Mike for the past tense reference and again your "powerful" experience.


 


"We, of Alcoholics Anonymous are more the one hundred men and women who have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. To show other alcoholics precisely how we have recovered is the main purpose of this book"


 


And if we ran the stats on these fellows how many stayed "recovered" future tense? They got the half of it.


Half truths availed us nothing..


Past  tense these guys needed to state the past to the present in order to write the book going forward humble alcoholics in humility submit to the process of a daily reprieve of recovery contingent upon the maintenance of their spiritual condition - in recovery.


 


"Once more:The alcoholic at certain times has no effective mental defense against the first drink. Except in a few rare cases, neither he nor any other human being can provide such a defense. his defense must come from a Higher Power.  


STEP TEN


We have entered the world of the Spirit. Our next function is to grow in understanding and efeectiveness. This is not an overnight matter. It should continue for our lifetime.


It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe. We are not cured of alcoholism   


 


STEP TWELVE


"You should be described to him as one of a fellowship who as part of their own recovery, try to help others and who will be glad to talk to him if he cares to see you."


Outline the program of action, explaining how you made a self appraisal how you straightened out your past and why you are now endeavoring to be helpful to him. It is important for him to realize that your attempt to pass this on to him plays a vital part in your own recovery."


It's isn't recovered, future tense.


The Doctors Opinion


We of Alcoholics Anonymous believe that the reader will be interested in the medical estimate of the plan of recovery described in this book.     


 re·cov·er·y html_removed

















 (r-kv-r) n. pl. re·cov·er·ies 1. The act, process, duration, or an instance of recovering. 2. A return to a normal condition. 3. Something gained or restored in recovering. 4. The act of obtaining usable substances from unusable sources.    


www.thefreedictionary.com/recovery


 


Recovered is past tense, and has no guarantee on your future sobriety.


         

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5 years ago  ::  Oct 03, 2009 - 2:36PM #9
andrewcyrus
Posts: 4,253

Mike wrote;


"My opinion is that people who focus on being "recovering alcoholics" continue to suffer - and prehaps even relish that suffering as some badge of honor - because they are either unwilling or unable to do what it takes to destroy self centeredness. Like Ebby told Bill had to happen. The book tells us it's possible. The people who have recovered set a powerful example of possibility as well. But the price has to be paid."


 


ANDY> when was the last time you helped another suffering alcoholic in recovery? Did you approach him on your mountain top of self righteous authority to proclaim your self recovered?


Alcoholics blew away brains cells that will never be fully recovered, they blew away fmily that will never be recovered. There are things in life that will never be recovered. Gravity has it's own suffering curse, to be recovering means  constantly in God's spiritual workshop recovering his daily gift of sobriety.


 


 

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5 years ago  ::  Oct 04, 2009 - 7:20AM #10
Lilbittydot
Posts: 1

AA and NA are based on the same principles. I am a recovering addict. I feel that you can never fully recover from such an ailment as addiction. You will always be faced with the temptations so it is a daily process of recovering for the rest of our lives. But with prayer and faith recovering is easier. I hoped that helped. Just my thoughts and reading the material given to me makes me feel that recovery is something we will deal with for the rest of our lives - and may they be prolonged in our process of recovery! God Bless!

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