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Understanding Recovery in the Context of Addiction; It’s NOT What You’re Missing, It’s What You’re NOT Missing.


January 2020

I think almost every addict and/or alcoholic in the history of recovery has preemptively thought about quitting their drug(s) of choice as “losing” something.

  • What’ll I do for fun?!  I’ll lose my ability to do fun stuff! etc. etc.
  • I’ll have to avoid a lot of fun places!
  • I’ll lose my ability to escape!
  • It’ll be like losing a friend!

The bullet points could go on ad infinitum in the context of what the addict/alcoholic will lose when they finally quit drinking and using.  The point is not important, the context is undeniably important.

Those new to recovery, the vast majority of us, tend to look at what we will be missing out on or losing if we truly decide to quit.  This causes a hesitance to fully give oneself to recovery which can often require a few more trips to the hospital or jail before one can fully let go.  Or, sadly, some die in the process.

Why not skip that?  Especially the dying part.

The problem we face when we’re new is that we can’t see out of the hole we dug with the same thinking that had us digging the hole in the first place (let alone the thinking that had us standing in the hole whilst we’re digging it).  Yes, if you do recovery right, you won’t be partying like you once did.  You also won’t be going to jail.

If you work for it;

  • You won’t be miserable anymore.
  • You’ll find you have a use in life.
  • You’ll find you are wanted.
  • Better, eventually, you’ll find you like being you.

Recovery isn’t about what you’re missing, it’s about what you aren’t missing.

In other words, once I got through the steps and finally felt freedom, I didn’t want anything to do what brought me all of that misery in the first place.  Who would?!

The point of this is, just stick around long enough for the miracle to happen.


  1. joliesattic says:

    I think we, as a couple, had the most fun when we lived in Alabama where drinking socially is almost non existent in the group we were in. Some drank occasionally, but it wasn’t what social life centered on. It was not difficult for my husband to stay on the wagon during that time. Once we moved to California where booze is everywhere and no social event is without, it was not as easy. As you pointed out in an earlier post, it may mean re-configuring your social circle.

    • bgddyjim says:

      Michigan is a lot like that, too. Booze is everywhere so, other than meetings, I do the sober bowling league on Sunday nights, and my wife and I do a lot of things together. Business was the tough one. I know the difficulty.

      • joliesattic says:

        I think hubby had the hardest time around family though. His parents drink a lot and everyone perpetuates it by always giving them gifts of booze. They are in their late 80’s and 90’s so I guess people figure why not let them enjoy. I told hubby, maybe that’s why they are still around, they’re sufficiently “pickled”.

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