Am I Recovering or Recovered?


“The Absinthe Drinker” by Viktor Oliva.

Is that a stupid question? I have a feeling I might be one of those people who do not want to be called a “recovering alcoholic”.  Normally, I don’t care what you call me (just don’t call me late for the barbeque), but I am vaguely offended by the notion that I am supposed to be regaining a former glory or that I am convalescing from something manageable but not curable…


When exactly, am I recovered?


I have had conversations with people in the recovery community before, who have forced me to step gingerly around a verbal minefield. “I don’t believe in the term alcoholic,” they will say. Or, “AA is not a fellowship, it is a coterie.” Or, “You may be sober but you are not recovered.” They argue that alcoholism is a disease, it isn’t a disease. It’s a albatross on our sober shoulder, a burden we carry like an overstuffed handbag, or we are cured. But the word “cured” is prideful, right? We don’t want to get cocky, because we all know pride goeth before the big cock-up.


Like the old song about potatoes and tomatoes, I say, “Let’s call the whole thing off”.


I honestly just don’t care for the most part. I am not drinking. I do not want to drink. That’s what matters, not how accurately I describe it. But when the subject of recovering v recovered comes up I find I have an opinion. I do not want to be one of those people who wake every day and say, “Well I hope I don’t drink today. It could happen because I am diseased, and there is that sleeping ghost I am afraid of, but maybe I’ll be okay…”


I want to be the person who gets up with the best intentions and overwhelming hope. I want to get dressed and march out there fixed, and know it’s all going to be okay.


Even cancer survivors stop looking over their shoulders at some point…


Today I’m not drinking because I am a recovered alcoholic?


How come you’re not drinking?