As the tides of life roll in and roll out, it’s vital to keep an open mind with how we perceive things. Our perception of reality is a simple reflection of ourselves. It can be difficult to expand to that mindset. Think about it though. Two people can be looking at the exact same thing but with different meaning behind it for each. Everything we react to is merely from stimulated emotion or logic. This stimulus creates a response that varies from person to person, or more so addict to addict in this situation. Everything is slightly different for everybody. Everything could be anything else but it’d all be the same.
Perception is controlled by the frame of mind we set ourselves in. Having a perspective change isn’t as simple as it may sound, but it is possible for any human being. A perspective change should be second nature for most alcoholics, alas- we all have growth to attain regardless of our age in sobriety. One major shift in that perception requires gratitude. It is with this appreciation that any hopeless alcoholic finds themselves in the position of being a grateful recovered alcoholic or one that is gratefully recovering.
Attitude of Gratitude
There really is no difference between being a recovered alcoholic or one that is still recovering except the sole perception of the benefiting alcoholic. Either way, you look at it, both are still members of the fellowship still benefiting from working a program. Distinguishing a difference between the two is kind of like comparing Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous– the message remains the same regardless. Remaining grateful in any capacity is the way to tame alcoholic thinking.
Claiming to be a recovered alcoholic reinforces the idea that that person is ready to move forward with their lives. This is somebody who has fully accepted their addiction and no longer questions it. The grateful “recovered alcoholic” label also reinforces idea like:
- Alcohol is the Least of Concerns
- Recovered Sounds More Confident
- We Are More Than Just Alcoholics
- Gratitude is Power
- There IS a Light At the End of the Dark Tunnel
Most who use such terminology is well aware that alcoholism never dissipates entirely. They refer to being recovered with a confidence that they will never return to that place of desolation again. These alcoholics have no wish to be defined by their failed substance induced endeavors. Although alcoholism can never be cured but only treated, sobriety helps recovered alcoholics believe that it will never be an issue again.
The Other Side
Of course, there is a slew of individuals out there that do not subscribe to this style of thinking. Once again, remember, it all boils down to perception. However, these are addicts and alcoholics of the sort that believe so strongly in the idea that alcoholism is never dormant. In recovery, we are always technically recovering from this disease, but some fear this can dilute the message for newcomers. Too many in early sobriety may wrongly assume that being a recovered alcoholic means that at some time in the future they too will be recovered. However, recovered often gets misconstrued with cured. This is a ludicrous idea accompanied with the thought of being able to drink again one day. The manipulative voice of alcoholism at its finest.
That same voice over time helps people in recovery forget how bad things were while they were active in their addiction. Some people may use the idea of being recovered as an excuse to avoid putting effort into recovery. The disease begins to rationalize horrible decisions that could easily be snuffed out without such grandiose thinking. This is where using the phrase “recovered alcoholic” goes for some. Being recovered condones relapse in the butterfly effect that addiction often produces.
A Recovered Recovery Always Recovering
As far as perception goes on the matter, things aren’t always as we tend to see them remember. People in general, especially alcoholics, love to just exaggerate the hell out of any situation. Some would love nothing more than to picture themselves as a founding father of Alcoholics Anonymous that the program depends on. Forget the first tradition. Some get so caught up in being a recovered alcoholic that they forget where they came from. Others identify so strongly that they actually become complacent thinking they can do no wrong.
Developing confidence is a key factor in thinking as a recovered alcoholic but we must never lose sight of the message. There is only a few sips or puffs that draw the thin line in the sand from staying recovered and relapse. Humility is an underappreciated henchman in the workings of recovery. There is still always so much to learn when expanding that perception.
The program at hand is all that really matters once we’ve come to an agreement on the difference of recovered and recovering. Taking care of yourself while working the 12 steps is the only way to stay sober period. Being a recovered alcoholic or recovering means putting in the effort that an excellent program takes.
It’s not until we love ourselves that we can love life and really appreciate recovery regardless of its terminology. This love is derived from open perception and understanding of sobriety. We have all the power in the world to create a perspective change that evolves this life into our vision of happiness. We all control our own destiny despite the minor difference in vocabulary words. How this side of the road looks is all up to you.
The Grateful Living
Positivity is not something that just manifests itself in the world we live in today. As addicts, it would seem that misfortune constantly chases us due to our alcoholic thinking. It’s on us to love ourselves, it’s for us to choose happiness, and it’s for us to get rid of the chemicals causing such negativity to blossom in our lives. If you or a loved one is struggling with chemical dependency and are ready for help, please call 1-800-481-8457 or visit oarcstaging.wpengine.com. We are ready to give you any suggestions possible and set you or your loved one on a path that we can all be proud of.