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Old 09-18-2010, 03:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
oak
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recovery vs. sobriety


I read a few people's posts that 'sobriety' and 'recovery' are different.

How are they different?

For me- I love the term 'sobriety'. It means way more to me than just not drinking. When I allow in sobriety, I feel like my being aligns and I feel empowered to live my highest purpose. I don't have the same internal response to the term 'recovery', but I like both terms. Recovery means to me creating a life worth living- a life better than drinking. For me, I would likely use them interchangeably.

What is true for others?
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Old 09-18-2010, 03:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Oak.....

I'm so pleased you are now a non drinker.
Call it whatever you like....just keep moving forward.
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Old 09-18-2010, 04:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Too many people get caught up in semantics. Call it whatever you want, just don't drink today.
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Old 09-18-2010, 04:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I distinguish the two for myself.

Sobriety means not drinking.

Recovery means healing and growing.
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Old 09-18-2010, 04:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I guess I've been influenced by Anna cos I personally use the same terminology

Whatever you call it....not drink or using, being happy about it, & working on yourself and growing as a person from it, is definitely the thing to aim for IMO

D
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Old 09-18-2010, 05:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Old 09-18-2010, 05:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anna View Post
I distinguish the two for myself.

Sobriety means not drinking.

Recovery means healing and growing.
I thought that might be the difference in terminology for some people. Makes a lot of sense. Just was not sure. Thanks!

I know I was the one who wrote it but the subject title makes me think of sobriety and recovery in a boxing ring.


lol- sorry
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Old 09-18-2010, 05:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hey Oak...it is a bit similar thinking about it...
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Old 09-18-2010, 06:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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There aren't any universally agreed-upon definitions. Some people use "sober" to mean simply not drinking. Some use it only to mean physical, emotional and spiritual sobriety--healthy in all three spheres. In that sense it would be much more than merely "not drinking."

Similarly, some people consider themselves "in recovery" for life--as long as they continue to do the necessary work, and to grow. Others consider themselves "recovered" once they reach a certain point of stable sobriety, even though further personal growth is something they continue to work on.

The labels don't really matter, but people around here can get very hung up on the "proper" use of certain words. It helps to avoid misunderstandings and hurt feelings here on the forums to be aware that you may say and mean one thing, and someone else might be "hearing" you say something entirely different. And vice-versa, of course.
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Old 09-18-2010, 08:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I remember the first time after I said I was sober a guy cocked his eyes all funny at me so one was bigger then the other and he leaned toward me and said with piercing eye's "Yeah but are you sober?"

I thought I was sober but I was pretty sure the answer to his question was no. Very confusing.

The point of the whole exercise as near as I can figure is you can either stop drinking and be focused on alcohol and not drinking (which is miserable) or you can stop drinking and do all the stuff you described. Get real, seek truth, find growth and get to why you would be willing to abuse yourself into a drunken stupor.

Just make sure if you ever ask that question you get the look down, it really through the newbies for a loop.
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Old 09-18-2010, 09:17 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean62 View Post
I remember the first time after I said I was sober a guy cocked his eyes all funny at me so one was bigger then the other and he leaned toward me and said with piercing eye's "Yeah but are you sober?"

I thought I was sober but I was pretty sure the answer to his question was no. Very confusing.

Just make sure if you ever ask that question you get the look down, it really through the newbies for a loop.
LOL- Too funny. I will get the 'look' down.
That would have been such a strange experience for you in early sobriety.


Lexie- Thanks for the descriptions. So true- we can say one thing and someone can hear something else. And visa versa.
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Old 09-18-2010, 09:22 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Cool

If there's ONE thing I've learned in this journey of ______________ (gosh!...I don't quite know what to call it......LOLOL

Well, that ONE thing is that all these terms, and phrases, and whatevers.....they're all subjective; period; the end.

.......and I get to define them for me, and for nobody else. (ie's......: if someone says that he/she is sober, it's not up to me to say otherwise, although, if it were me I might not call myself sober under the same circumstances......; I don't get to 'judge' someone else's 'quality of sobriety/recovery' except as it refers to me---I might or might not consider myself to have 'quality sobriety/recovery under similar circumstances......; etc., etc., etc., ad infinitum................

So......happy journey y'all...............


(o:
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Old 09-18-2010, 09:24 PM   #13 (permalink)
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To me, for today, if I don't drink, I just call it...........wonderful.
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Old 09-18-2010, 09:36 PM   #14 (permalink)
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There is a third option and its called 'recovered'...its great...alcohol doesn't even feature in your life anymore...you can go where you want, with whom you want, when you want...complete freedom...grateful to not still be recovering today and not just hanging onto sobriety:-)
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Old 09-18-2010, 09:37 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I second that Fire...

D.
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Old 09-19-2010, 02:53 AM   #16 (permalink)
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you can go where you want, with whom you want, when you want...complete freedom...grateful to not still be recovering today and not just hanging onto sobriety:-)
Hey man, just an observation to this terminology. Is this strictly true? I know that for this alkie and druggy then alcohol and drugs play no part in my life anymore and I am far from hanging on... However, I still think from my own experience that I will always have to value my sobriety as a precious gift i.e- I couldn't be hanging around with heavy drinkers or around drugs. Maybe it's different for drugs, but despite alll the recovered status in the world, then I wouldn't want a line of coke under my nose. Not that I would want to do it, but I have to remember that I will always be an addict and an alkie. Of course I wouldn't want to be hanging with them characters anyway but I think the impression can be that you can literally go anywhere and hang out with anybody, for this alkie and addict then that simply will never be the case, as hanging around heavy drinking and drugging as an alcoholic myself would not be something I'm sure I'd feel comfortable with. I will always be one drink away from the next drunk the same as anybody else.

For me then sobriety is my clean time from drink and recovery is the daily work of healing and growing as a person. I'm happy to always be a recovering alcoholic, there will always be room for improvment, and that to me is what is so great about recovery. I will always be an alcoholic and I must never forget that fact. Like anything in my recovery though I am open minded and this maybe liable to change, I'm sure it will reveal itself in good time, if at all...

Peace
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Old 09-19-2010, 04:59 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Far too early for me to comment from the heart, but in my experience sobriety is just not drinking and not changing either. Recovery sounds more dynamic and growth orientated.
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Old 09-19-2010, 12:21 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NEOMARXIST View Post
... I will always have to value my sobriety as a precious gift i.e- I couldn't be hanging around with heavy drinkers or around drugs. Maybe it's different for drugs, but despite alll the recovered status in the world, then I wouldn't want a line of coke under my nose. Not that I would want to do it, but I have to remember that I will always be an addict and an alkie. Of course I wouldn't want to be hanging with them characters anyway but I think the impression can be that you can literally go anywhere and hang out with anybody, for this alkie and addict then that simply will never be the case, as hanging around heavy drinking and drugging as an alcoholic myself would not be something I'm sure I'd feel comfortable with. I will always be one drink away from the next drunk the same as anybody else. ...
Yeah- I have a similar reaction to the term 'recovered'. Yet I assume someone who calls him/herself "recovered" also values their sobriety and still sees him/herself as an alcoholic- just recovered.

My reaction comes from relapsing after not drinking for 16 years and going many years without thoughts/urges to drink. Then I went to a transformative 3-week-long workshop which was very good but also very intense. Then the last night we all went to dinner and lots of people drank. I was surprised at how strong of an urge I had to drink that night. I did not drink that night but the urges stayed and I started drinking a few days later. I did wonder before I started drinking again if I could be recovered, if I could handle alcohol. I think my situation is different from many people who call themselves 'recovered' because I was very unhappy and very far from recovery.
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Old 09-19-2010, 08:14 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Hey man, just an observation to this terminology. Is this strictly true? I know that for this alkie and druggy then alcohol and drugs play no part in my life anymore and I am far from hanging on... However, I still think from my own experience that I will always have to value my sobriety as a precious gift i.e- I couldn't be hanging around with heavy drinkers or around drugs. Maybe it's different for drugs, but despite alll the recovered status in the world, then I wouldn't want a line of coke under my nose. Not that I would want to do it, but I have to remember that I will always be an addict and an alkie. Of course I wouldn't want to be hanging with them characters anyway but I think the impression can be that you can literally go anywhere and hang out with anybody, for this alkie and addict then that simply will never be the case, as hanging around heavy drinking and drugging as an alcoholic myself would not be something I'm sure I'd feel comfortable with. I will always be one drink away from the next drunk the same as anybody else.

For me then sobriety is my clean time from drink and recovery is the daily work of healing and growing as a person. I'm happy to always be a recovering alcoholic, there will always be room for improvment, and that to me is what is so great about recovery. I will always be an alcoholic and I must never forget that fact. Like anything in my recovery though I am open minded and this maybe liable to change, I'm sure it will reveal itself in good time, if at all...

Peace
Thanks for picking me up on that, my post gave the wrong impression...

Part of being recovered means that the alcoholic/addict has been restored to sanity, that is why NOW he/she can go where they want, when they want and with who they want...

Give you an example, lets take a balanced, sane person of our age who isn't an alcoholic/addict...what would they say if we said i can go anywhere but i wouldn't want to hang around in a smallish bar with heavy drinkers in case i was tempted or wouldn't want to hang around with guys doing coke for the same reason...they would look at us like we were insane, right?

This is because a sane, mature adult wouldn't even consider going to these places or doing those things...so being recovered means that you have a big inner change which turns you into a sane, mature adult...so it wouldn't even dawn on me to go to those places, or hang around with those people...

See the difference in recovering and recovered?

Look man i know people in AA that are 20 years sober and still, when they go to stay at a Hotel, get the mini bar taken out or get it locked by reception...either im recovered or im not and i had enough insanity in my drinking years...i wasn't prepared to live sober by avoidence or with self imposed restrictions...

Remeber this is if you are recovered, whilst recovering a person should be nowhere near people, places or things thateven remind them of drinking...

Anyone can get recovered, its just a simple matter of following the suggestions of AA with a sponsor...it took me about 3 months to finish and it wasn't like a full time job...was it worth it...defo:-)

It's not complacency its just the result of the work in AA...alcoholics have been getting recovered from alcoholism for 75 odd years, i didn't do anything else but follow their lead.
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Old 09-19-2010, 11:10 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Too many people get caught up in semantics. Call it whatever you want, just don't drink today.
this ^
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