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Should We Call Ourselves Addicts or Alcoholics Forever? NO? YES? If so....WHY?



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Should We Call Ourselves Addicts or Alcoholics Forever? NO? YES? If so....WHY?

Old 01-12-2010, 07:27 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Gypsy Feet View Post
but I like to take nights off. I text my sponsor and tell her I'm not an alcoholic tonight, but I'll be back on board tomorrow. She gets mad. . .
That's funny... scary thing is, I get it!!

Mark
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Old 01-12-2010, 07:45 PM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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I'm an alcoholic/addict who's been clean and sober for a little more than seven years now. I don't live in fear of relapse. Knowing what I am has given me enough respect for the substances I put in my body to know that if I put them in my body again, they will, indeed, have a powerful, damaging effect on me -- and not just physically.

And I don't resist anymore. Don't have to. "The problem has been removed." It wasn't removed by hiding in meetings, though I do go to a lot of meetings. It was removed after some committed, consistent work on the root of my troubles -- and its maintained by daily vigilance and application of the tools I used to do that work. Steps, brother. Steps. I have fears, sure -- I'm human -- but fear of picking up is not one of them today.

Peace & Love,
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Old 01-12-2010, 07:59 PM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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I'm new to sobriety and I've been turning this idea over and over in my head. You framed the issue very well, RobAllen! Recently, I've decided to set the debate aside for the time being. So, I've got no real take on it. I'm taking things one day at a time. Today I'm an alcoholic.
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Old 01-12-2010, 08:43 PM
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Very interesting thread.

I guess I don't think about it that much. I know I can't drink. I know if I do, I won't stop...and I just don't ever want to go back there.

I know I'm a drunk....never let myself forget that, either.
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:40 AM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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Interesting and thought provoking.

Personally I'd like to see myself as a recovering alcoholic, because the recovering part is what I'm proud of, the alcoholic part not so much.
But that's just me and yes I am an alcoholic and always will be.
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Old 01-14-2010, 01:51 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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First off, THANK YOU Spryte. I appreciate that.

Of course I believe we need to RESPECT the aspect we can relapse. But "fear" of something can really give it power. Again, fear in this case can protect us but I believe the entire "Im an Addict" or "I am an alcoholic" label can condemn some people. Again, how often can we create realities that seem unbeatable JUST based on what we PERCIEVE. Again, one of my favorite phrases is...

"Change the way you look at things and the things you look at will change" -- Dr. Wayne Dyer

"If we turn our back on Freddy Krueger we take away his power he uses to terrify us!" -- Nighnare on Elm Street Kids
(LOL Just kidding with this one guys but some of you get it)

The bottom line is I want to be Drug Free. Not a person forever attached to drugs. I know many of you disagree and find strength in the terms. For me, I want to label myself a former addict and at the same time respect the power drugs and alcohol had on me.

Just my 2 cents but I hope it helps some of you find a new perception and a new strength within it.

Rob
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Old 01-14-2010, 02:08 AM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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Personally, I am not ashamed I am a alcoholic and in my heart I know I am only one drink from being a practicing alcoholic again.
I thank every day that I a recovering alcoholic.
Simple for me really, but hey Im a simple guy.
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Old 01-14-2010, 05:47 AM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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I know for a long time I got "caught up" in the semantics of the whole "label" thing. Is it right to call myself and addict or alcholic or whatever??? I let it be an "excuse" for a long time. It's just a word, it helps some people to identify like that, so they do it. For others, it gets in the way of their recovery, so they don't do it. Others, just don't care one way or another, I'd fall into that group. Often we find ourselves to caught up in the "details". Many of us like to over complicate things, all this does is help keep us stuck in the same place. I hope you find something that works for you. Take care.
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Old 01-14-2010, 07:54 AM
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I guess this all comes down to acceptance and education on the subject, i'm grateful to be able to say i'm an alcoholic today and to understand the implication for me of that statement of fact...i don't want to go down that road again, maybe im not, maybe i am, i'll win the war, the battle is not over, i drink too much but i'm not as bad as him etc...
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Old 01-14-2010, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by RobAllen View Post
For me, I want to label myself a former addict
Rob,

Then get free of drugs and you can label yourself whatever you want. For me, any label was better than active alcoholic or raging drunk. That was the truth of my existence. In order to change that label, I had to take the action necessary to conquer my alcoholism.
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Old 01-14-2010, 08:00 AM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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I think a few people missed what I was trying to convey. I dont mean the label for others to see us by. I mean for US, ourselves to see our addictions as. I can see how it got crossed.

Myself, It does not bother me to be seen as I am with my addiction because I dont know anyone without flaws or who ir capable to look down on me or anyone else (although I still see many who do).
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Old 01-14-2010, 08:03 AM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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Essentially, the post was meant to point attention at the labels or terms we use to describe ourselves now and if it weakens us or strengthens our resolve to stay clean. As I said, being called a drug addict for life would not help me personally STAY clean. I know many of you disagree and I respect that. Nothing more Kieth but thank you for the tip.
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Old 01-14-2010, 08:07 AM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by tyler View Post
I know for a long time I got "caught up" in the semantics of the whole "label" thing. Is it right to call myself and addict or alcholic or whatever??? I let it be an "excuse" for a long time. It's just a word, it helps some people to identify like that, so they do it. For others, it gets in the way of their recovery, so they don't do it. Others, just don't care one way or another, I'd fall into that group. Often we find ourselves to caught up in the "details". Many of us like to over complicate things, all this does is help keep us stuck in the same place. I hope you find something that works for you. Take care.
What would you use it as an "excuse" for tyler? If you dont mind me asking.
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Old 01-14-2010, 08:30 AM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by RobAllen View Post
As I said, being called a drug addict for life would not help me personally STAY clean.
I'm saying this with a little more purpose than just the topic of labels, whether personal or public.

How do you know what would help you personally stay clean if you have no experience with staying clean?

One of the very first bits of traction I got with successful recovery was acknowledging that I had no idea how to get and stay sober. I mean, I had lots of ideas, but I got to a point where I couldn't deny the hard evidence in front of me. My ideas were not working. I played out each idea of mine to its end. All of those left me in the same intoxicated state.

It was only when I had exhausted my options that I became willing to look at what people who were successfully staying sober were doing.
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Old 01-14-2010, 10:07 AM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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I dont believe I said that about myself Kieth I simply said I am getting ready to quit and am putting together my plan but again, thank you for your input. Thank you for the tone of your comments. Very helpful and insightful actually.



I DO wish you the best though!
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Old 01-14-2010, 10:31 AM
  # 36 (permalink)  
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Rob,

For me, a big part of the danger of relapse was thinking I was "cured." It gave my alcoholic mind a chance to say that maybe I wasn't really that bad. Maybe I was just going through a rough patch. Maybe I had over-reacted. Maybe it was all a dream! Maybe I could drink again! Maybe just one drink! Get my drift?

Anyway, a big step forward in my recovery was when I was able to admit to myself I am an alcoholic. I have to remind myself each day. Since I can do that, I can get on with my life and my recovery.

Love,

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Old 01-14-2010, 10:35 AM
  # 37 (permalink)  
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By no means do I think we should EVER let our guard down or forget the power of addiction, I simply mean how should we see ourselves. Addicts and Alcoholics or Former etc
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Old 01-14-2010, 10:48 AM
  # 38 (permalink)  
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I am an alcoholic, a recovering one thank God. Until my last breath i will still be an alcoholic.

Now here is where I go with it.

Me saying I am an alcoholic is NOT A LABEL, it is a statement of FACT.

When I was a drunk there were a ton of folks that would have and some the did "LABEL" me an alcoholic/drunk.


To me there is a distinct difference between a "LABEL" & a "FACT".

"LABEL" I see a young man with his pants/shorts hanging off of his arse, I could "LABEL" him a gang banger. Does that "LABEL" make it fact?

"FACT" a young man with his pants/shorts hanging off of his arse, is a respectful hard working young man who would never ever dream of joining a gang of any type, I can "LABEL" him a gang banger every time I see him, but all that really is, is a "LABEL" I gave him based upon my opinion of the way he is dressed.

"LABEL" Some one sees some one fall down drunk so they "LABEL" them an alcoholic.

"FACT" The young man on a dare chugalugged a 40 on a dare, he had never drank before, he may or may not be an alcoholic.

A "LABEL" to the individual who is being "LABELED" means nothing to that person.

Now a "FACT" that one discovers to be "FACT" means some thing.

Until I accepted the "FACT" that I am an alcoholic, I remained a DRUNK!

Today I easily accept the "FACT" that I am an alcoholic, to me it is crucial that I do not view that "FACT" as a "LABEL".

LABELS can be true or false or even some where inbetween. I can not afford to "LABEL" myself an alcoholic because I know people who have been sober for over 20 years who had "LABELED" them selfs to be alcoholics and after all those years of being sober convinced them selfs that all it was, was a "LABEL", they drank again.... some have made it back to sobriety, others have not yet and may never make it back.

A "FACT" is a "FACT", I am an alcoholic, this is a "FACT" for me, it is not a "LABEL"!

With a "FACT" there is no wiggle room with time!

With a "LABEL", there is all the wiggle room I need to allow me after 10 years of sobriety to like others who have merely "LABELED" them selfs alcoholic to have that first drink. I am 56, do I have another recovery in me? I kind of doubt it, it took me 40 years of drinking to hit my first bottom, I am not sure I would live long enough ti hit a second one.
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Old 01-14-2010, 11:03 AM
  # 39 (permalink)  
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I guess "label" was the wrong term. The post wasn't EGO driven. In the most basic terms, do I consider myself an Addict forever? If so, does that help or hurt me? This is my post summed up. No "label" per se. Its not about others and how they see me or if they think I am drunk or high. It is about the POWER of self belief that "Well, I am always a drug addict" = For me that weakens me. Im sorry if anyone finds it offensive but it is my self "Label" for my recovery. It wasnt a prove me wrong post. I am sure many of you consider yourselves addicts and alcoholics and get strength from it. RIGHT NOW I am as well. I will not consider myself an addict if / when I get clean. I feel you need to shed that baggage and see yourself in a positive light. I KNOW I KNOW we have to respect the addiction, again, I am not dismissing this!
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Old 01-14-2010, 11:23 AM
  # 40 (permalink)  
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Rob, I do not consider myself an alcoholic...yes, I have a drinking problem, but I do not believe in the disease concept so I choose not to label myself. As long as I drink it remains a problem if I do not it is no longer a problem. I choose not to drink anymore. Plain and simple. It took many years for me to get to this point, but now that I'm sober I will never go back to the way I was.

I know a lot of people will not agree with me, but thats okay. I believe that as long as what we are doing works for us thats all that matters.
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