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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

"How Are You Doing? Want to Talk?"

Some people don't like the "cured" term.  They'd rather use "in remission," or use a non-disease paradigm and go with "problem solved" or such.  There are a lot of good arguments against "cured," but I have to call this state something, so I'll go with the c-word for now.

Many, many people don't understand what it means to be cured of an addiction.  Perhaps they're used to the more dramatic paradigm of struggling with inner demons every day, and have trouble believing that those demons can simply be cured.  Perhaps they've heard too much 12-Step stuff and are used to people being endlessly "in recovery" and never recovered.  Perhaps they can't understand how a cure could exist without quickly becoming famous, or don't see how alcohol could be such a big part of our lives and then rather suddenly become unimportant.

One of these people, no doubt meaning well, may ask you if you want to talk about it.  How are you doing?  How's the recovery?  How are you managing a post-addiction life?  "Fine, done, and fine" is true, but doesn't seem to satisfy them.  Explaining that you're truly cured and are no longer an addict may lead to a lot of fireworks if the person is accustomed to the model of endless one-day-at-a-time recovery, but may be the best way to go for the long term. The truth of your words will become evident as you keep living your life.

We cured folks generally just want to get on with our lives, not waste time wallowing in the past.  I personally have to remind myself to come back to this blog -- I have other things I'd rather be doing.  We should realize that this isn't how most people think of addiction, though.  They've been trained to think that people must be "in a program" (as they say on TV) and fighting a bartending inner demon.  It's worthwhile to take a few minutes to explain that the addiction is completely over and that there's really, truly nothing to discuss.

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