There are few things that make me want to swallow my own face with boredom more than the ridiculous, totally unnecessary, inane whining that goes on in Recovery Circles between those who describe themselves as a Recovering Alcoholic, and those who call themselves Recovered.
Only in those circles. Obviously. No one else could care less. Because it’s the epitome of a First World Problem. And it makes us all look like idiots. So let’s stop it now. Please.
It is entirely possible for a person to fully, permanently recover from alcohol addiction. And truly that type of person could not give a f*ck what people refer to them as. They are far too busy actively living the life they didn’t have when they were drinking.
But it’s also not nice that there are so many people wandering around with the assumed knowledge that they will never be free from addiction to alcohol. Or recovered, if you like. So for the sake of the people who believe everything they are told? Here’s the other side:
I am recovered because I will never drink again. Because I put the drink down and didn’t pick it up for a long time. And during that time I re-learned my approach to everything. To reset my reactions to people and places and situations and yes, especially myself. For a very long time indeed I did this and practised it when I didn’t want to. And it was a massive pain in the arse at first. And it felt totally impossible. Then it felt slightly less impossible. Then it felt possibly doable.
Now it is done.
I don’t think about drinking. I don’t think about lack of drinking. I don’t need it in any situation. I don’t crave it physically or long for it emotionally. There is no lack. I moved on. I can’t take my recovery any further because I’ve gone beyond it. Never need to be re examined. I’m rock solid in it. I will never drink again.
Am I fully recovered from my years being physically disabled?
How do I know that? Because of the hours and hours every day I have to put into consciously bridging my brain and my body. My body doesn’t know how to rest during sleep unless I give it detailed instructions every night. It doesn’t know how to wake up properly unless I remind it every day. How to walk, how to stand, how to hold things. I have to incrementally give it pointers throughout the day, gentle nudges so it knows what it is doing and how to do it efficiently.
I have learned that if I do this then my body works just as well as anyone else’s. I have also learned that it will not happen on its own. That if I do not make this my priority every day then there are consequences. As time goes on I get better and better at reminding my body how to work, but I have never moved beyond it. I will be in recovery until the day my brain and body can figure this out for themselves like they used to before the age of 26. It could happen. I have quite a strong background in doing the strongly improbable.
It’s no hardship. All I have to do is follow a set of instructions and I am well. Very well. Arrogantly well some might say. Just not arrogant enough to believe I’m recovered. Because I know what recovered is. And it’s not this. But because of both these scenarios? My life has given me the physical proof of the difference between recovered and recovering.
Anyone can be fully recovered from alcoholism. Not all of us know the feeling-place between a work in progress and a finished result. And once we do know it? We can’t un-know it. Ever. Regardless of what anyone tries to tell us to the contrary.
So those of us who do know this? We owe it to the rest to give as much advice as there are hours in the day. Advice and practical guidance to help those anyone’s get there. And those who speak in doubt from a place of un-knowing owe it to all of us to shut the f*ck up with the whining like b*tches and listen long enough to give themselves a chance at being recovered instead.
We all have the same amount of hours in the day. Life is very equal opportunities like that. We all get 24 of them, irrespective of age, finances, sex or creed. We can all learn to utilise every minute of them to work for our recovery, or against it. I spend quite a lot of my hours ensuring my body can function properly so I can do the other things I love doing. I spend zero of those hours shoring up my sobriety. I probably used to spend those hours drinking and whining like a little b *tch about my life instead.
I like it this way better. I like it so much that I don’t give a f*ck what you call it. I just think you should join me here.
If you’ve got the time for it then so do I.