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Am I still in recovery?

Old 12-05-2011, 02:41 AM
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Am I still in recovery?

I think I've seen this sort of topic more than once but here we go again.

I have found myself wondering if I'm still in recovery, if I'm still an addict, that sort of thing. And even what those mean. When do you stop being an addict? Or do you stop being an addict? I don't feel like an addict. I remember pretty well what that felt like and I feel immeasurably better physically and emotionally than I did then. So am I still recovering? Is my recovery complete? Am I in maintenance phase now? Oh my, this gets so confusing.

To put this in the frame of my life, I have had one relationship since getting clean, and that ended in August. In the last couple weeks I've met a guy that I really like, and against all odds he seems to like me. Yeah... I feel like I'm about 15 again. So I am nowhere remotely close to telling this guy I used to be hooked on drugs. But eventually, if this continues, it'll probably come up (and if not with him, someone else). So what do I tell him and when? Or do I tell him?
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Old 12-05-2011, 09:32 AM
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gneiss, I am happy to hear you are happy.

For me, the terms 'in recovery' or 'alcoholic' apply as long as those terms facilitate what I want to believe and how I want to behave. The terms have no intrinsic truth beyond that, and I don't feel like I need others to exactly agree my definitions. When those terms are no longer expedient to realizing my intention, I will stop using them to describe myself. Right now, I am both, those words have work to do.

The only thing that keeps the above from sliding into hopeless relativism is honesty. I have to be honest with myself about the meanings, where my actions are likely to take me, and how all these "truths" fit together as a whole. I also have to be honest with the people in my life. My past is not an open book, nor do I lie about it. In the present, I make every effort not to deceive or conceal as my life quickly boils over when I do.

I think your are right sooner or later it will come up, and I think it is really good stuff to think about from time to time. And I have zero advice for you, other than it is important be nice to gneiss. Best wishes.
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Old 12-05-2011, 10:47 AM
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Hey I sure can relate, my head trips on these kind of ?'s too. For me as long as I know that I can never safely drink or use drugs than that is all I really need to come to terms with. Whether I tell someone or not I would wait till the time is right, and I believe you will know. Too much information to soon is really not in my opinion the best option. I don't know where you are at with your spirituality, but I always try to pray before making a decision like this one?

Have fun in your new relationship remember easy does it.
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Old 12-05-2011, 11:35 PM
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Thanks. I'd known my last boyfriend since I was 15, and he was hooked on drugs for a while, so it wasn't a big deal, I knew it was ok to talk about it. So this is a whole new realm of things I'm not sure about. And maybe I'm more than a little worried that I'll start to really *like* him, and when I tell him he'll decide he'd rather not take on someone with those issues. And I guess I wouldn't blame him for that; I know what a mess I was.

And then add on the fact that I'm really not sure what to call it to myself. Maybe it's all semantics. I guess what's important is that I don't do drugs anymore.
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Old 12-07-2011, 08:50 AM
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mmmm, difficult one. I think it may depend on how much your addiction still defines you. It sounds like it doesn't anymore. I would be inclined to leave it for a while. It seems to be very much in your past.
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Old 12-08-2011, 08:55 AM
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I prefer "I came to my senses" over "recovered".

I came to my senses quite awhile ago. Once I've figured something out, I usually remember the sequence of events, sometimes serendipitous, that helped me to do that.

After I figure something out, I don't usually try to figure it out all over again.

Unless I unfigure out what it took me so long to conclude, I plan to retain my newfound sensibility for a long time to come.

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Old 12-11-2011, 03:11 AM
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I've never really been comfortable with the disease model anyway, so that makes sense. Thanks. I try not to be too negative but a few times I've caught myself saying "Back when I was being an idiot..."

Sometimes that makes people uncomfortable. But then... drug addiction isn't comfortable. *Shrug*
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Old 12-11-2011, 04:45 AM
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I don't think alcoholism or addiction are diseases; but they're illnesses (mental illness); classified as such by the World Health Organisation.

And 'recovering' or 'recovered' are both concepts (abstract ideas), and are subjective.

For me, my drinking was just a symptom of a deeper problem which was a hopeless state of mind and body, and because I've recovered from that state, I class myself as a fully recovered alcoholic.

Yeh, I can't drink safely ever again, but so what? As I say, my drinking was only a symptom.
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Old 12-17-2011, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by gneiss View Post
I've never really been comfortable with the disease model anyway, so that makes sense. Thanks. I try not to be too negative but a few times I've caught myself saying "Back when I was being an idiot..."

Sometimes that makes people uncomfortable. But then... drug addiction isn't comfortable. *Shrug*
Hey! ha ha, I use that "idiot" line too. I think it sums up very nicely where my head was at those times.

On what and how much to reveal...I think that if your particular drug use put you into a risk category for any illness that can be sexually transmitted, go get a thorough blood check. If you are clean, then I don't think you owe anyone an explanation of your past history. At some point in the relationship some of it might naturally come up, but I'm not big on early relationship "confessions".

If you do have a health issue that could be passed on to a partner, then you have to be upfront with them, and the subject of drug use might arise.

If the issue is behind you, it's behind you. I don't think you need to spend the rest of your life defining yourself by an addiction you have left behind.
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