Although I’m wary of using any form of the term “recovery”, since it implies the existence of a disease, there is still an important distinction to be made between the usage of “recovering” and “recovered”. One who views themselves as a “recovering addict” subscribes to a vision of a lifelong struggle in which you can never be free of addiction, and thus will succumb to a “relapse” at some point, and that it will be excusable, because of the lifelong view of addiction and recovery they believe in. One who thinks that it is possible to become “recovered” sees addiction as a temporary phase, condition, behavior, or disease – which can be permanently ended. While for many, the “recovered” view may still include belief in the disease model of addiction, it is still a major positive step up from the “recovering” view which keeps many substance abusers on the edge of relapse, allows them to ride the fence, and provides incentive and excuse for failure.
This brings us to an example. South African man Marco Broccardo was an addict in his late teenage years. He has now been substance abuse free for 11 years. He considers himself to be “recovered”, and intentionally rejects the notion of being “in recovery” or “recovering”. This has worked well for him. He believes that change is possible – do you? When you believe in lifelong recovery, you are expecting failure – you are subscribing to a self-defeating attitude.
Marco is climbing several mountains to raise awareness about the possibility of becoming “recovered”. I don’t know what his full view of addiction is, but I do know that his view is a “can-do” attitude. He believed in the possibility of changing his behavior, he believes that you can “choose” to change, and his life serves as proof of that. His view on these matters is drastically different than the common knowledge on addiction spread by the recovery culture.
Here’s a quote from Marco that displays his positive attitude:
I am a firm believer that recovery is possible. I believe that you can recover completely and not be recovering addict for the rest of your life. By God’s grace, I have been clean for 11 years and I can honestly say that I am not in recovery I am recovered! Recovery is a choice.
Read about his mission here: Former drug addict to climb world’s highest peaks