Can people move past the imprint of having been an addict in active addiction? Does having to continuously see themselves through the image of old behavior impede their personal growth into a better and new way of life? As alcoholics and addicts enter recovery they begin to define themselves as alcoholics or addicts in the rooms of AA, which is a pivotal first step in their recovery. Is a clear and precise surrender to their affliction, but maybe not all they want to define them and their character. The AA approach to recovery is the gold standard for helping people achieve and maintain long-term sobriety alongside a supportive fellowship. AA has the highest success rate, and is widely respected, but does the alcoholic/ addict proclamation ironically hinder some people’s person growth beyond the program? Do the confines of labeling themselves an alcoholic or addict limit how they view themselves and their potential above and beyond that?
This is a hot topic in the field of addiction lately so we wanted to take a closer look as to what is being said about this viewpoint. We are not to say what is right or wrong for any one person, just to look at addiction from different perspectives and deliver information circulating the topic. Consider the difference between saying “I am an alcoholic,” as opposed to, “I suffered from alcoholism for a number of years, but I’m sober for the last 25 years.” Some say that if you have broken free from the grips of addiction, are no longer in immediate risk of drinking or using drugs, you should feel entitled to differentiate between your past and present circumstances. Focusing on the solution that is working in their lives, vs. the problem they are managing may be more beneficial for individuals. From this perspective nothing remains in a fixed state of being, everything participates in the dance of becoming, nothing is left out of this movement, including the recovering addict. Some say why would we want to further the punishment of the past by carrying it with us with it no longer applies to the present?
Addiction is a horrific affliction, for those suffering and all the loved ones surrounding their disease. As we know overcoming addiction is an extremely challenging task, however it is possible, and if you can be successful it is incredibly heroic and noteworthy. Everyone wants to be proud of his or her successes, and this is no different, as alcoholics and addicts should be proud at their milestones of sobriety. And no matter what is best for you or your loved one and their addiction, one thing remains equal across the board and that is to wear our victory over this disease proudly. Do so as you fully invest in your process of growth, and becoming your healthiest and best sober self. Forward movement is the greatest guarantee of continued sobriety, so keep on moving in whatever direction works best for you!