Why I’m not in recovery and not an alcoholic

On the way to work this morning, it dawned on me why these two terms, recovery and alcoholic, have been bugging me. So I’d thought I’d briefly share with you why I’ve said goodbye to these terms. In doing so, I’d love to get your perspectives – I appreciate that everyone has their own approach to being alcohol free and will have different views. But here are mine.

Why I am not in recoveryย 

My mind, rightly or wrongly, has always associated the word recovery with negative connotations. I associate recovery with comming out of an illness, or, for example, getting physiotherapy to heal broken bones or recovering from whiplash after a car accident… a temporary period to get back to a physical state of where you were before.

I don’t associate my new life of being alcoholfree with the word recovery or being in recovery. I’m not sick, I’m not going through a hard time. I am not down and out, I’m not sad, struggling, or in a difficult place. Rather, the opposite! Being alcohol free is the best decision I’ve ever made. I’m happier, healthier, more present and generally an all round better version of myself.

For these reasons, I am not in recovery.

Alcoholic

I dislike this word with a passion. People often consider others to be an alcoholic… or are not. Much like pregnancy. There is no middle ground. However I don’t subscribe to this. Like the word recovery, alcoholic to me is a hideous word. For me, it has negative connotations like the word recovery. Let’s be realistic though – I admit that when I was drinking, I displayed elements or stupid drunken traits of an ‘alcoholic’. While I was drunk.

But I don’t drink now. So how can I be an alcoholic if I don’t drink? Like an ex-smoker … we don’t refer to an ex-smoker as a smoker, so why would we refer to someone who doesn’t drink alcohol anymore as an alcoholic?

Makes no sense to me.

For these reasons, I am NOT an alcoholic.

Words I do associate being alcoholfree with:

  • Freedom
  • Confidence
  • Opportunities
  • Clarity of mind
  • Conviction
  • Mindfulness
  • Presence
  • Sincerity
  • BEING ALIVE
  • …any many more!

My life as an alcohol free person brings me joy, happiness and fun. I won’t be bogged down by these two words that I associate with self-pity, doom and darkness.

Let’s celebrate our sobriety! We are better versions of ourselves today than we were as drinkers! We are so blessed to be living this way and I’m excited by the opportunities that come with it.

Love and sober hugs,

From New Zealand xoxo

33 thoughts on “Why I’m not in recovery and not an alcoholic

  1. This is an interesting take on alcoholism… as someone with a bit of sober time, I never gave it much thought. I know I did stop going to meetings because it was always the same old rehashed shit. I do still consider myself an alcoholic though… I need that label, because if I label it any other way, I may really start to think that I don’t have a drinking problem. That would be bad for me and anyone around me. I do appreciate your alternate approach. Nice read.
    D.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I absolutely love this post! And I totally agree with you. Hideous words for “conditions” or “diagnoses” that do not apply. My choosing to use or not use is a choice for me. Right now, I’m choosing to be sober. And it’s great! Same for when I quit smoking cigarettes in 1990. I never looked back and I’m not a smokeaholic. I used to smoke too much weed, too, back in my teens and quit that cold turkey. I’m not in recovery for weed.

    Life is a series of choices and consequences. How awesome to choose clarity of mind and a healthy lifestyle over foggy mornings and a myriad of other problems. God bless you! Keep on keeping on!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The sad thing is that drinking is considered a cultural act rather than an addiction. The more I watch movies, TV series and other shows, the more I see people having a drink because they are stressed or to enjoy the company of others and so on. Heavy drinking is almost accepted in Northern European countries and North America. More and more teenagers are becoming alcoholic at a very young age and despite our laws to keep them off drinking, the pandemic is getting worse. I believe that setting an example for others is the best way to go so, I’m very proud of the writer of this article because she’s doing the right thing and by sticking with it, she will become a model for many others. As far as our society is concerned, I wish that alcohol was not depicted by the media as something socially acceptable; that doesn’t mean to discriminate against people with a drinking problem. I would appreciate if the act of drinking alcohol would gradually disappear from our movies and TV series unless they are deliberately tackling the issue of drinking alcohol. I few years ago, I used to enjoy drinking beer and “grappa” with my friends and even though I was only doing it at the weekend, I soon realized that I was looking forward to it. I turned vegan in 2011 and I’ve been purifying myself ever since. Veganism gave me the right push to head towards the right direction. Coffee, cigarettes and alcohol are a trigger for each other so when you start giving up an addiction than you should gradually give up all the negative habits as well. As a result, you will feel tons better about yourself and once you are confident with who you are, the world becomes yours!
    Good luck to each one of you on this beautiful journey called life

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Everything is a Miracle
      Thanks for taking time to share your thoughts so extensively. Like you, I hope that alcohol awareness will gradually increase and that it’s presence and acceptance in our heavy drinking cultures will diminish. It happened with smoking so I’m hopeful it will happen with alcohol.
      Take care and keep up the great writing xoxo

      Liked by 2 people

  4. It feels so good to see people overcoming hurdles and going on to live healthier lives.
    I don’t even drink, and yet I felt motivated to stop drinking! That’s one inspiring post right there! ๐Ÿ˜
    Ps, I love your username! As soon as I read it, I knew I had to subscribe ๐Ÿ˜„

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Great post!
    I also dislike these words and don’t generally use them. Certainly my drinking did meet all the criteria for addiction, but I have been free from alcohol now for nearly 3 years. I don’t think about drinking, I don’t feel deprived, and I don’t see myself as an alcoholic, a dry drunk, or “recovering”. I’m not locking myself in that box ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Thank you for your bravery in sharing these thoughts! I feel similarly and it’s a relief to know I’m not alone in feeling as though I’ve made a powerful, incredible, positive life choice. I haven’t struggled to maintain an alcohol-free existence; rather, I feel as though I simply woke up and decided to live a more fulfilling life. And that can sometimes make me feel ‘other’ – as though I might not be a legitimate-enough member of this community, somehow? So thank you, thank you for these words. Each of us are on a unique journey and should do whatever works – whatever feels empowering and comfortable in this uncomfortable world. The last thing I want to do is offend someone who identifies with the words recovery or alcoholic because hallelujah! We’re all here now and we’re doing this UNBELIEVABLE thing! How amazing is that? โ™ฅ xo

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Brittany, thank you for your sincere, encouraging words. I’m so inspired by your alcoholfree choice, it seems to have been a clear, compelling, positive mindset change for you. Can you pinpoint what enabled this shift? xoxo

      Like

  7. Love this !! I don’t like the word alcoholic so I don’t refer to myself as one but I do say I’m in recovery . I use recovery because for me, I am recovering from all the damage that all my drunk days have caused me . Either way sobriety is the best decision I’ve ever made and being sober ROCKS!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Brilliant! Love that you are not allowing yourself to be defined by these phrases. Alcohol wasn’t my thing, neither were drugs. Instead, I was morbidly obese – lovely term! – and diabetic. I’m neither now (long story) but I had weight loss surgery and stopped eating sugar. So I’m no longer a fat diabetic. Why should folk who stop drinking or taking drugs be considered addicts and alcoholic for the rest of their lives? Never made any sense to me. One of my kids had – and still occasionally has – a problem with alcohol and drugs. He hates the labels and so do I. Thank you for writing this. X

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi SpookyMemoryWitch, thank you for sharing your inspiring story. I’m with you… you are neither obese or diabetic today…. so how is it appropriate to tag you with these labels today? The answer, it’s not! The more we share, the more we grow and get inspired. Goodbye labels ๐Ÿ‘‹๐Ÿผ

      Liked by 1 person

      • Exactly! I think that I have amazing strength and I’m proud of myself…but I wasn’t always. I already see that strength in you too, I think. My son struggles. It’s heartbreaking to watch as a parent. But I can’t live his life for him. He has my genes. I have faith that he’ll beat whatever he wants in the future. You’re a really good, real, honest writer, as is the guy whose blog we both follow. I love that.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Yes there are various labels and buzzwords that don’t quite sit right with me. I may use them sometimes as common reference words when I’m writing or speaking but I’m not always comfortable with it. A very interesting, thought provoking post! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve never been a fan of the world recovery either. It sounds awful to me. I have a lot of negative connotations associated with it and I have never once related to it. In the past, I have tried to be open to the term and try it out, but it never worked for me. It did feel “dirty” and sort of “unworthy” of being successful and happy and healthy.
    With that said, in my deepest anger against myself and others around me. I have openly used the world alcoholic toward myself and those people around me. I almost don’t feel it having as heavy as a feeling as “recovery” does. That probably sounds silly. But it’s all in perspective. Maybe it was acceptance of knowing I was and they were over drinkers?

    From my research, the health field and so-called professionals feels anyone that has more than 7-9 drinks in a week is an alcoholic. Which seems absurd. Considering “normal” drinkers can have one at dinner and be done. In my mind that’s not an alcoholic. However their weekly count may hit 10 if they had a weekend event. Does that mean they’re now an alcoholic?! No way.

    — Also, I don’t agree on being an alcoholic for life. I’m certainly not a smoker any more. I quit so long ago I don’t even remember what it was like to be a smoker. I certainly wouldn’t go around saying I’m a smoker, because I don’t smoke.

    If I had long term sobriety in, I would never say I was an alcoholic. That just seems counterproductive. — GREAT POST!

    Liked by 5 people

    • Love your insights, I’m totally with you! Thank you for sharing your research, it’s so insightful. It always amazes me, the different (and sometimes wacky) stuff out there. We can do this, it’s a great thing! Let’s celebrate it and be proud of Brit better versions of ourselves xoxo

      Like

  11. You have me thinking about the word, Recovery.
    I looked it up and found these definitions:
    1.
    a return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength.
    “signs of recovery in the housing market”
    synonyms: recuperation, convalescence More
    2.
    the action or process of regaining possession or control of something stolen or lost.
    “a team of salvage experts to ensure the recovery of family possessions”
    synonyms: retrieval, regaining, repossession, getting back, reclamation, recouping, redemption, recuperation
    “the recovery of the stolen goods”

    I never thought of the term, I just used it!
    I love your list of what AF means to you.
    I agree!!
    xo
    Wendy

    Liked by 3 people

    • Wow that’s very insightful thank you Wendy. Isn’t it interesting? You are much further along your sobriety journey than me. Your blog makes me smile and I don’t see you as being in Recovery either. Especially when we look at points 1,2&3 above. Life isn’t ‘normal’ (whatever that means), I’d suggest it’s better โค๏ธ

      Liked by 2 people

  12. I don’t mind the word recovery but I feel like I’m more in recovery (healing) from life, not alcohol. Alcohol was just what I used to try to heal before. That clearly didn’t work, hahahaha! I don’t go by the label alcoholic though either. It’s too negative and there’s just too much positivity that comes with being sober.

    Liked by 6 people

  13. Recovery & groups are good for helping not to go back to your addiction .. Power of God or the higher power will help with your new journey .. Remember one day at a time .. โค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธ

    Liked by 1 person

    • For sure. The wonderful thing I learned from Annie Graces book This Naked Mind is that I genuinely have no desire to drink anymore. I don’t have an addiction and the unconscious mind perspectives she’s enabled me to ‘relearn’ has been invaluable.
      I respect your path though as we each are unique – isn’t the new ‘us’ amazing ๐Ÿ™‹๐Ÿฝโค๏ธ๐ŸŒธ

      Like

      • Absolutely! We are so fortunate that there are so many avenues and support networks out there. I haven’t been in a programme either but I completely understand and respect these options and the great work they do. Quick clarification – I wasn’t intending to have a go at various options out there. Quite the opposite. Apologies for any confusion, totally unintended ๐Ÿ™‚๐ŸŒธ

        Liked by 1 person

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