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Readers Respond: What Is Your Definition of Recovery?

Responses: 5


Updated October 09, 2014

The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration defines recovery as "a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential." But what do you think? What is your definition of being in recovery? Note: This Reader Response topic has been closed, please use this form to share your experience, or join the discussion in the Alcoholism Forum.


Recovery is based on a daily reprieve and is very much ongoing. I have today and that is all I have until I wake up the next morning. Turning it over and letting go assists in the recovery process.


I was amazed but not surprised to read the latest definition of recovery is to change. The problem is people are obsessed with meanings and definitions. If you ask 20 doctors their definition of an alcoholic you will get 20 different answers. To define recovery has the same problem. We are all individuals and recovery will mean what it means to us. For me recovery is every day. Trying not to make the same mistakes twice but to forgive myself if i do. Recovery for me is to try and be the best I can do the best to others that seek my help.To day i choose not to drink and tomorrow is another day.Recovery for me will continue until the day I die.
—Guest jacobs

Becoming Higher Powered!

Recovery is an on-going process of progressively moving toward "enlightenment". Definition of enlightenment? Depends on the individual! I think it's correct to say that there are some who are "recovered", but I believe for the vast majority of addicts it might be better to say, "we are recovering". Why? Because our recovery is based on a daily reprieve from our substance of choice, contingent on our spiritual condition. (Those in recovery who are non-believers in a Higher Power have their own methodology). I believe part of an enlightened state is, or is on the way to, becoming "undependent", one is in the process of getting, or has the ability to work if one in fact needs to; basic needs are met, that doesn't include romance if you don't have it!, high self-esteem, and being a part of something larger than oneself to look forward to, a sense of giving, receiving, acceptance, and community. Isolation is not recovery! Learning and striving for our full potential comes with changing.
—Guest 1hourataT9


Recovery has now become a word associated with making money. Recovered comes from turning one's life over to God. No charge!
—Guest Sherada

Self-Directed Life?

My "self-directed life" is the cause of my addiction. The successful recovery programs I am most familiar with suggest taking a few steps and relying on God for direction. I would consider changing the words "self-directed life" to "God-directed life" in the SAMHSA definition. However, meeting people right where they are is a great thing. Their definition is positive and attractive - all people want to change, improve, and meet their full potential (as individuals, all by themselves). It is what it is and life will always present itself as it happens.
—Guest David
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