Updated: Nov 10
What's the difference between recovery and sobriety?
You won't find a clear direction without clear definitions!
Sobriety is critical in early recovery. It is remaining free from the negative effects and further consequences of engaging in our addictive behaviors and patterns. To stay sober means to not drink. To have sobriety means you are not doing drugs. Sobriety is what gives a person separation from the negative effects of their addictive behaviors and allows them an opportunity to begin thinking and processing life with a sober mind. Sobriety allows an individual time and space to engage in a healthy recovery program.
The Bible uses it to mean something of a spiritual nature. “Sober” is translated from the Greek word that means to be sober, calm and collected, to have good sense, good judgement, wisdom, and level-headed in times of stress.
Recovery is less about avoiding the negative behavior (it is a prerequisite however) and more about developing new ways to cope with life and live in healthy relationship with others. Learning to deal with underlying problems and pain in a focused, consistent manner.
Earnie Larsen describes this as Stage 2 Recovery in his book "Stage II Recovery: Life Beyond Addiction." On page 4 he writes, "Many people find themselves on the other side of their addictive behaviors, better off, to be sure, but certainly not enjoying the happiness they hoped for. Their victory didn't pay off the way they thought it would." I don't want this to be me and I'm sure you do not either.
Earnie Larsen gives us a framework for helping us define our own direction in recovery:
If I define recovery as... (avoiding a behavior)
then my problem is... (those behaviors)
and my program will take me to... (preferred future)
The goal is to have a clear, simple, specific answer for how you define recovery.
For me recovery is maintaining the four following healthy and authentic relationships:
1) With Jesus Christ
2) With my wife (Amy)
3) With my daughters (Rylee and Aubree)
4) With healthy and trusted family and friends
If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time. Let's aim to strive toward our purpose.
My purpose is to live an authentic, accountable life in order to lead and dream!
How do you define recovery?
What is your picture of the preferred future?
How are you helping yourself discover purpose?