When is a person recovered or cured?

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ChancesAh
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When is a person recovered or cured?

Post by ChancesAh »

Hi,
It appears there are a multitude of 'ideas', opinions and 'claims' but is there any proven scientific answer for the question,

Does a person recover in AA or are they always recovering.

I go to a weekly AA meeting where I suppose like most people are expected and try to devote themselves to the program. I've tried to ask a few in passing but the response is either 'great question' or the blind follower automated response of 'you have to devote yourself to the program' .

I've done a truckload of research on the internet and it appears there is a massive growing crowd of AA critics. Orange-papers.org for instance talks about misleading statistics and backs up a claim that AA is more a cult of the doomed. The incomplete stats they do have show that tens of thousands of first month and year coins are produced but only a minute amount of 5, 10 or 20 year coins. This is pushed as a failing but do AA members who leave the group start drinking or do they leave and live happily ever after as they are cured. I'd suggest the later because whilst I don't think I could ever drink responsible again without developing alcoholism I find it difficult and non productive to label myself as an alcoholic for life.

I personally would like to know as I don't see myself continuing on for years doing the same program. I currently use the HSM website, sober recovery and self help books on top of AA which has been good.
I know some people will take instant offence to this question like they do to an atheist questioning their beliefs - but I think blind support is arrogance and will only lead to failure in life. As such if someone has a real view, idea or interesting opinion which isn't critical or defensive it would be nice to hear it.

Thanks

D'oh
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Re: When is a person recovered or cured?

Post by D'oh »

For me ("and I believe that I have proved it once and hopefully never try again") Never or Daily! Which ever way you wish to look at it.

AA_chatter
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Re: When is a person recovered or cured?

Post by AA_chatter »

Unfortunately, I don't think there is a cure. I think it's like cancer and many other diseases; you can be in remission, sort of speak, but never really "cured".

Robert R
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Re: When is a person recovered or cured?

Post by Robert R »

Analyse till you paralyse! or live in the programme for a happy and productive life. Simple choice really.
Don't know exactly where I am going but I'm on my way and it's already much better than where I've been.

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Tosh
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Re: When is a person recovered or cured?

Post by Tosh »

We're never cured of our alcoholism.

Into Action
We are not cured of alcoholism.
And the 'recovered' confuses some because it's often used as "recovered alcoholic", but it's not our alcoholism that we've recovered from it's a hopeless condition of mind and body:

Foreword to First Edition and There Is A Solution
we have recovered from a hopeless condition of mind and body.
You could say that this hopeless condition is what brought us to A.A.; our rock bottoms.

I could say that I'm recovered, but not cured; I could never drink safely again, but that's not a problem as I don't obsess about drinking anymore (thanks A.A.); the monkey is off my back.

Early A.A.'s used to call themselves ex-alcoholics, but since many kept falling off the wagon, the 'ex' was dropped. :lol:
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)

medic63
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Re: When is a person recovered or cured?

Post by medic63 »

I heard it put this way.
1st. An active alcoholic is like a gunshot victim bleeding to death. The first few weeks in AA is like the the bleeding gunshot victim in the emergency room.

2nd. An alcoholic working the 12 steps is like our gunshot victim friend having surgery and RECOVERING in the hospital.

3rd Once the gunshot victim leaves the hospital he has RECOVERED from the gun shot. Like an AA member who has had a spiritual awaking as the results of the 12 steps.

The trick is our gunshot victim is not bulletproof and can get shot again, just like an alcoholic can pick up a drink and be off to the races.

ChancesAh
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Re: When is a person recovered or cured?

Post by ChancesAh »

Robert R wrote:Analyse till you paralyse! or live in the programme for a happy and productive life. Simple choice really.
That's the thinking that really brings the question though Robert. Blind faith in something that may not go the distance. Where are all the thousands of members who joined 10 years ago. I would suggest that by your thinking we have a disastrous long term success rate. I analysing as I want to know where the majority of yesterdays members are as we both know they simple aren't at meetings. As before - their are thousands of 1st months coins going out but only a few dozen 10 year coins. Surely such a massive percentage must be a reflection on the program and not the individual. So it's analyse to learn, grow and survive to live a productive life. Not so simple at all really

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Brock
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Re: When is a person recovered or cured?

Post by Brock »

This subject comes up from time to time, most of us prefer the word recovered mainly for the hope it gives new people, hearing people who have been in AA for years calling themselves recovering alcoholics, that just does not convey the sort of hope recovered does. Medic63 gave a good example with the gunshot, I have heard other similar ones.

When I was 'newer' to this site I started a thread on this topic, there had been a few before mine, and a couple after, links below go to two of those if you are interested, they show this is a subject very many people have had a say on. I had a smile when I looked at my old thread about how passionate and soapbox preaching I was about this, I still can be a bit that way. But in general I find growth in the AA program makes us more understanding of other peoples views, I may still argue when I believe the newcomer is being given the wrong message, one without hope of long term recovery, but I don't think I might write this sort of thing again, here is one paragraph from my post of a few years ago.
Of course after you have completed the steps, still feel free to say you are recovering, if you feel the ground move slightly, have no fear, Bill is just turning a bit in his grave.” I won’t take up all the room on this page by showing the list with the quotes, but what I have is the word recovering appearing once on P122, recoveries once on 113, recovers once on 149, then I go on to list recover 14 times, recovered 10 times, recovery 16 times. And when it comes to the 12 & 12, even on the dust jacket it says “tells how members recover.” It goes on to say recover 5 more times, recovered 4 times, recovery 16 times, and recoveries 4 times. The word recovering appears not to be used at all. So if we take both books, the word recovering is mentioned ONCE.
The only times I see the word 'cured,' is when they say in the family afterward that a person is being cured of his more serious ailments, otherwise it used in such areas as “We are not cured of alcoholism...”, so this they are pretty clear about.

viewtopic.php?f=36&t=12792&hilit=recove ... +recovered

viewtopic.php?f=36&t=18266&hilit=recove ... dhttp://e-

Thanks for the topic and best of luck.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

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Layne
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Re: When is a person recovered or cured?

Post by Layne »

ChancesAh wrote: Does a person recover in AA or are they always recovering.
To me that is a linguistic juggernaut or koan along the lines of "What is the sound of one hand clapping?"

Reborn
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Re: When is a person recovered or cured?

Post by Reborn »

Hello ChancesAh...I've just taken some time and read some of your other posts. Don't take this the wrong way because I am not judging you at all. Have you worked the first 9 steps? Do you practice 10,11 and 12 on a daily basis? Those who claim they have recovered (I'm one of those) in my experience have done and continue to do the above. We are not cured of alcoholism...this is true...I know if I picked up a drink today I would be drinking for oblivion again in a short period of time...how do I know this...I have done it...countless vain attempts! No one ends up in AA by mistake...whether count ordered or completely defeated(ME)...we're all here because we have had trouble with alcohol in one form or another. I believe that people get sober in other ways and stay that way without AA...if that works for you perfect! But back to my original question...if you have not worked the program through step 9 and at least attempted to live in 10, 11 and 12 why not give it a whirl. This might give you a new perspective on what we mean by "recovered".
We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others. BB pg 132

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avaneesh912
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Re: When is a person recovered or cured?

Post by avaneesh912 »

growing crowd of AA critics.
People dont surrender to the fact that they can't safely drink ever again. Without the first step, there is no recovery (Rest of the 12 steps). I beleive there is a TV serial/documentary called Wasted featuring an alcoholic who obviously couldn't stay sober working the 12 steps and looking for other means. They keep search for answers while we already have a solution.

When you say you can't be working the steps forever, I already see some cracks. I have seen many alcoholics/addicts taking it easy and slowly the un-manageability sneaks upon them and eventually stop going to meetings and then they wonder why they picked up the drink again.

There is a nice article we already discussed you can google it, "Spiritual Malady the missing Link". Gives you a good picture why people after long term sobriety fall back.
Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.(Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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ezdzit247
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Re: When is a person recovered or cured?

Post by ezdzit247 »

Good post. Very thought provoking.
ChancesAh wrote:Hi, It appears there are a multitude of 'ideas', opinions and 'claims' but is there any proven scientific answer for the question,

Does a person recover in AA or are they always recovering.
AA et al has frequently been the subject of scientific research for master's and doctor's thesis in psychology, sociology, and cultural anthropology and many publish their papers on the internet. Google can provide you with the links. On the issue of "recovered" vs "recovering" in AA, the studies I've read make the observation that AA members who identify as "recovering" tend to achieve long term sobriety and those who identify as "recovered" don't. I've never read any speculative analysis for this phenomena but my guess would be it has something to do with sick vs healthy egos.

I got sober in southern California and have never heard another AA member identify as a "recovered" alcoholic in any meeting. I've been sober for over 37 years and don't think of myself as a "recovered" alcoholic. I figure that since I still have the same liver and even though it is possible that my liver may have "recovered" after all this sober time, I still remember how my last drunk went after almost two years of sobriety and have never had the desire to do any more research. I've also listened to the ESH of several members who have gone back to drinking after 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 years of sobriety and never heard any of them claim they were able to drink like normal people again.

Keep coming back....
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Roberth
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Re: When is a person recovered or cured?

Post by Roberth »

Hi ChancesAh, AAers love to debate this topic…..the simple fact is that there is only one known cure for alcoholism. And that is abstinence from alcohol which most of us can’t do. (on our own that is)
I look it this way. If I had cancer and had my leg removed I would be free from cancer but I would have to learn to get around with one leg. Same thing with alcoholism, once the alcohol is removed I need to learn to live without it.
What I have found in AA is a way to live an alcohol free life. I will never be able to drink again but I can have great life. And honestly for me it keeps improving as long as I keep doing a few simple things.
Robert
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in pretty, well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming WOW What a ride!!!!

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Tosh
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Re: When is a person recovered or cured?

Post by Tosh »

ezdzit247 wrote:I've been sober for over 37 years and don't think of myself as a "recovered" alcoholic.
So we stay sick for the rest of our lives?

Or maybe booze wasn't really the problem; it was just a symptom; and the real problem happens when we're stone cold sober. I mean despite my drinking history, I always took my first drink while stone cold sober. I drank to give me relief from being sober because being sober is the real problem and the booze was my solution to it.

And maybe we can recover from that sober problem and become recovered?
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)

D'oh
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Re: When is a person recovered or cured?

Post by D'oh »

You are getting closer.

The Alcohol was "But a Symptom" of my disease. Life and the living in it was the problem. That is why I drank, to try to cope with Life. But it only covered the real problem, then it made even more problems, then it stopped working all together.

So yes, as long as we are living Life, we are sick. The 12 steps is a guide to a way of living that we don't have to run and hide from. A life that is infinitely better than any way of living we have known before.

That is why "Sober" aka "Dry" is still a problem. Without the 12 steps to living, we still have our disease and without a crutch.

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