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PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:50 am 
Whats up everybody!!

I just wanted too speak about something i feel pretty strongly about. Ok, im in my 18th month clean and sober. No drink no drugs no nothing. I am completely out of active addiction. I do wanna say this before i go any further. Im not in denial about anything, at all. My question is, why must i call myself an addict/drug addict? I am 100% clean from drugs and drinking. I do NOT use anything. As far as im concerned, i "use" to be an addict while i was USING. Im not using anymore and i have absolutely nothing to do with drinking or drugs. Its a thing of my past. My life now, is no different than a person who hasnt ever used drugs. I live no differently than the next person. I do know that i cant use drugs and drink because my mind cant just take one pill or only drink one drink. I get that and fully understand that. If it was up to me and it is lol, i wanna forget that part of me ever existed because i am so secure with myself and my sobriety, that i know its just a negative part of my past and thats all. Now, i want ever let myself become so confident that i let myself feel invincible or think that i could never go back to that life cuz i know it could happen. But i have gotten my life together and i know how to avoid it and might i say, I DO NOT WANT THAT LIFESTYLE!! I will finish with this. The way i see it is this, i use to be an addict while i was using but i have gotten my life together, and out of active addiction. Active addiction=ADDICT. Thats just my own opinion so dont quote that as fact. Anyways, if anyone feels like commenting feel free. Im sure their will be a lot of disagreement on this but its only my opinion and like they say, everybody has one lol. Hope everyone has a great day!! ~PEACE~


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:21 am 
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Lifesaver,

That was a very nicely written post. I enjoyed reading it. I feel strongly about the subject as well.

That is an age old question I'm sorry to say, I'm going to say a lot of us addicts would say something to the effect of 'once an addict, always an addict'. I believe what they're referring to is the potential for abuse is always there. Would you agree with that? It's not that they want you to feel crappy about yourself, they don't want you to think you're invincible(as you wisely understand) because sure as shit, once you feel like you're cured your headed for trouble. Again, you seem to understand this very well.

I agree with you about the term addict...I don't like it either, it's a dirty, nasty label...but I know I am one. My daily behaviors demonstrate this to me. I tend to overdue things on a regular basis...I'm either all the way on or all the way off.

I'll tell you what...you most certainly don't have to call yourself an addict, I'll never call you an addict, just understanding what you do about addiction is enough for me to believe you know what is going on. Certainly after reading what you said about knowing you can no longer use pills or alcohol or anything because you know your mind CAN'T do just one.

So, please feel free not to call yourself an addict.

Everything written above is my opinion. I am no professional on the subject matter, I just detest having to call myself an addict, but I do it anyway because I know I am one and that works for me.

OK, now that we got that crap out of the way, CONGRATULATIONS on 18 months clean and sober...holy smokes that absolutely rocks!! Good for you, you should be so, so proud of yourself!!!!


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:27 am 
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Hi lifesaver and thanks for bringing up this subject. I'm sure you are not alone in how you feel. In some ways I agree with what you're saying and feel the same way. However, addiction is considered by many to be a chronic disease, similar in some ways to, say, diabetes. A diabetic can be stable with the help of medication and/or change in diet, but they are still diabetics. I believe this is simply a difference in perspective. I choose to continue to call myself an addict because to me if I don't, I feel that I would be that much more vulnerable to relapse. Like you said, it can sneak up on us if we aren't vigilant. For me being vigilant includes never forgetting what happens when I'm in active addiction - and what WILL happen to me should I relapse. Plus, since I'm still on suboxone to treat my addiction I believe the label still applies to me, even if it is now recovering addict instead. It is only a word after all and I refuse to let that word/label define who I am completely, although I recognize other people do choose to live that way. There are so many other labels I can use to define myself that I feel are more "important" than being an addict.

I know I'm not really taking a stance on this either way, but I think it's too complicated to be seen in black and white; there are too many gray areas to addiction and addiction recovery/remission. I'm also not intentionally trying to be wishy-washy here, but I recognize that perhaps I'm coming off that way. In fact, I feel like I'm expressing myself rather poorly. I just hope some of what I'm saying makes sense. Again, I think this is a great topic for discussion.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 2:13 pm 
Wow!! Thanks Hat and Romeo!! I will definitely be speaking further on this topic but im not able to do so at this time because im just walking out the door. Again thanks for your response's and i will definitely be back to further this discussion. Have a great day!! ~PEACE~


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 2:19 pm 
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I don't call myself an addict anymore. i am past that part of my life....nuff said.

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 Post subject: terminology/jargon
PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 2:38 pm 
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Yeah, I find I dislike quite a lot of the terminology that often goes along with addiction like "clean/dirty" really bothers me. In 12-step there's the whole "My name is __________ and I'm an addict/alcoholic." I don't like being labeled or identified by only that one aspect of my life, whether I'm in addictive addiction or remission. Scotcat sounds pretty confident (and tha's cool with me,l good for you Scotcat, I'll just assume you have every reason for your confidence). I too can understand the idea that addiction is a chronic (maybe lifelong, maybe incurable-but-treatable) condition but personally I still feel that doesnt' mean anyone has to define themselves entirely by that condition or label themselves with it, especially if they are in remission from addiction (a term from the new jargon, but one I like a lot, so far (any phrase can get old if overused long enough)). It's one of the things I don't like about 12-step actually, is a bunch of overused jargon and what seems like a rigidity of attitude. I do understand though, the idea that one needs to be serious and vigilant about dealing with one's serious addiction. But i don't believe there is only one way to deal with the condition of addiction and I don't like the attitude of "once and addict always an addict." Yes, you cannot change the past, so once you've experienced addiction, you will always have experienced addiction. but I don't think anyone has to keep referring to themselves as an addict forever if they don't want to. Hey, if it helps some people to consider themselves lifelong addicts no matter how long in remission, I don't mean to put them down. But I'm not sure it's helpful for everyone,, in fact, sometimes I feel liek, for me, the idea of "once an addict always an addict" and having to label myself as an addict all the time (like, if iI went to 12-step) would just make me more obsessed with using drugs and I do know that THAT is not helpful for MY condition. Can't speak for others of course. But as far as I'm concerned, all the posts above on this subject are right on, thanks everybody, and good luck.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 3:22 pm 
Well, here's an example i find interesting. Take a person who needs to lose weight for example. I wont go into detail but im sure you can imagine the names someone might get called if they had a weight problem. Ok, so that person loses the weight. People wouldn't continue to lable them as overweight. And they could easily gain that weight back if they start eating too much again. Im not in any way trying to say addiction is like being overweight. Im just trying to find an example of some sort. Like addiction, a person loses all their bad habits, takes the drugs out of their life. I feel they got rid of the addict when they got rid of the drugs/drink. That is, as long as they continue to remain abstinent from the drugs and drinking. And an overweight person loses weight, they can remain at normal weight as long as they keep away the unhealthy foods etc. Just an idea that popped in my mind. I personally dont call myself an addict anymore. Its just not appropriate for me. Its in the past. Like i said in my first post, i know my mind cant take drugs and drink because it will become addicted again. Anyways, i really appreciate everyone who has responded and keep it going. I would love too hear what everyone thinks about this topic. Thanks!! ~PEACE~


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 4:37 pm 
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lifesaver said " i know my mind cant take drugs and drink because it will become addicted again"

Calling yourself an addict or not is not important^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^that right there is the key to it all.

I wonder how many in AA/NA call themselves addicts because they have to, but do not yet fully believe or understand what you have come to learn and believe...that they can never drink or drug again. So, the label then becomes useless...just a lousy label. I'd rather they focused on believing what we know to be true and most important.

And yet after saying all that, I still consider myself an addict. Go figure.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 5:06 pm 
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Hey man check out my one thread “Switching One Addiction for another” there’s 2 full pages of post of people like yourself and myself as well that think the same way!

Even the Doc j posted on page 2!


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:37 am 
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I always like to think of myself as a person first, and not let myself be defined my my medical problems. So I don't call myself a depressive, or a fibromyalgiac, or a hypothyroider (I think I just made those last two up, but you get the point), I don't call myself an addict. I am a person who has suffered addiction. I lived through it, survived it, and I'm in recovery.

I let my experience of addiction inform my life choices, just the same as I do for depression, fibro, and hypothyroidism. But I don't let it define who I am - because I am so much more than that.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:17 am 
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I don't believe I'm an addict anymore.

However, I do believe I have the potential to become an addict again should I not be vigilant and forget from where I have come.

Those who believe in the disease concept generally keep calling themselves addicts even when they're not indulging in their addiction.

Those who believe that addiction is a complex bio-psycho-social issue usually stop calling themselves addicts when they stop using.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:06 am 
See, i actually do believe in the disease concept. I just dont think that im an addict "anymore." I'll always have the disease but its nothing more. See, to me Addict=Active addiction. Like i said, the disease will always be their but as for the addict part, im out of active addiction therfor i dont feel that im an addict. I guess what it boils down to is this, its just a personal prefrence. Im sure many will disagree with that but its only my opinion. Thanks everyone for your responses!! I really hope many more will respond!! Hope everyone has a great day!! ~PEACE~


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 7:58 pm 
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Agreed.

If there's something I've learned in recovery it's that different methods and philosophies of recovery work for different people.

(I just wish NA was open to that idea as well)...


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:17 pm 
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tearjerker

You said it!


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:43 pm 
AMEN TO THAT!! I definitely believe that everyone has to find what works best for them. Different strokes for different folks. I think everyone including NA should be open to anything that helps a person out of active addiction, within reason of course.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 2:49 am 
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To me the term 'addict' instantly gives the thought to alot of people of a dirty, drugged out, slurred speech, eyes bugging or eyes closing, person. Not that those thoughts represent all addicts, but that is the typical thought of a person who hasn't suffered from drug or alcohol addiction. The lucky ones who think they aren't addicts, if they look close enough, are to some degree 'addicted' to something. The term 'workaholic' for instance, a workaholic may snicker at the term, but what I see in a workaholic is someone who is too indulged in their career to take time for the little things. As you said with overweight people, they are 'addicted' to food. A person can become addicted to exercise, addicted to the internet, addicted to gambling. I am sure if we look at everyone we meet, we can see an addict. Some addictions are more deadly than others, some may be shrugged off...but the commonalities are the same, they all will eventually backfire. The term addict just comes off really in an unflattering light to most. If we told our bosses or loved ones we were 'workaholics' or had 'food addiction' we wouldn't fear their reaction. But telling people we are 'drug addicts' or 'recovering drug addict' or an 'alcoholic' is seen as something negative, instead of the hurdles we went through to have the earned the past tense of the 'ed' on 'addicted' . There surely needs to be a kinder, more encouraging word for what we have all accomplished. Whether on suboxone or subutex, or off & still not using, we have all reached an accomplishment that is very difficult to reach. I personally don't tell people who aren't addicted to pills that I was addicted to pain pills, there is no need. But I will gladly refer to myself as an addict if it will help one, just one, person... then I will call myself anything that will help them.
Point being, anyone can be an addict of some sort. I am not currently an drug addict, I do not need drugs or pills. Maybe we should just say we are in control of our past addictions, since we are no longer dependent on the things we once were.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 8:47 am 
AMEN Lindscnn!! I couldnt agree more with your post. I definitely hear the word addict as a horrible lable. That term has been around for i dont know how many years. I think its time we update on the termonology. No offense to NA but, i think they will probably continue to operate the same way forever. Like they say, its not a one size fits all type thing and i wish people at NA would realize that instead of running people off because they chose to take suboxone/subutex. It may not have happend to any of you but i sure have been criticized for it and i left because of how uncomfortable they made me feel. It was horrible. Anyways, thats a bit off topic. Thanks for your input everyone!! ~PEACE~


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:07 pm 
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Hey linds,

How are you doing? You're coming up on 2 months, aren't you?


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 3:13 pm 
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lifesaver wrote:
Whats up everybody!!

I just wanted too speak about something i feel pretty strongly about. Ok, im in my 18th month clean and sober. No drink no drugs no nothing. I am completely out of active addiction. I do wanna say this before i go any further. Im not in denial about anything, at all. My question is, why must i call myself an addict/drug addict? I am 100% clean from drugs and drinking. I do NOT use anything. As far as im concerned, i "use" to be an addict while i was USING. Im not using anymore and i have absolutely nothing to do with drinking or drugs. Its a thing of my past. My life now, is no different than a person who hasnt ever used drugs. I live no differently than the next person. I do know that i cant use drugs and drink because my mind cant just take one pill or only drink one drink. I get that and fully understand that. If it was up to me and it is lol, i wanna forget that part of me ever existed because i am so secure with myself and my sobriety, that i know its just a negative part of my past and thats all. Now, i want ever let myself become so confident that i let myself feel invincible or think that i could never go back to that life cuz i know it could happen. But i have gotten my life together and i know how to avoid it and might i say, I DO NOT WANT THAT LIFESTYLE!! I will finish with this. The way i see it is this, i use to be an addict while i was using but i have gotten my life together, and out of active addiction. Active addiction=ADDICT. Thats just my own opinion so dont quote that as fact. Anyways, if anyone feels like commenting feel free. Im sure their will be a lot of disagreement on this but its only my opinion and like they say, everybody has one lol. Hope everyone has a great day!! ~PEACE~


It's a good topic, thanks for your thoughts. Here's the thing: You ever hear that old saying "Once an addict, always an addict?" Well, it's true. The fact is, you can't "unaddict" youself. There is NO cure for addiction. Not at this time, at least. Now, obviously, we can play a long and drawn out game of rhetorical football and kick it for weeks about how there is a difference between active addiction and not using, and I would agree. But the fact is, when you start down the path of thinking that you are "not an addict" you are putting yourself on a very, very slippery slope.

The facts are clear on this. There have been many studies done. In fact, one of the top links on a Google search for "drug addict relapse frequency" indicates that as many as 90% of addicts will experience at least a brief relapse at some point post-treatment and up to 50% will experience a severe relapse.

Link: http://alcoholism.about.com/cs/relapse/ ... 030804.htm

I'm 46 years old and I've lost track of how many times I've relapsed. I've been to inpatient treatment several times, been to meetings on and off for decades and even spent almost 18 years in prison. None of that, despite my best, sincere intentions to get clean, prevented me from relapsing. Now I'm not telling you this to depress you, nor do I want to imply that ALL addicts MUST relapse. But what is clear is this: Constant vigilance against this illness is a KEY component to long-term sobriety. And the mindset that you are "not an addict" is one that I would categorize as dangerous or even reckless in light of the facts I have just cited.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 3:13 pm 
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Romeo- I am doing great, besides filling the back of my jeans out a bit more...lol. Yes, it will be 2 months next week. I spent my first Thanksgiving in years 'clean' & not worrying about how I was gonna sneak off, or make an excuse to go out to my car. It was really nice to feel 'normal' again. I thought at times that I would never get my energy back, I hate feeling drained & tired, but it has came back almost fully. My biggest problem now is this time change, as soon as it gets dark I seem to slow down...not sure how to deal with that, I guess it is a waiting game for the next time change. But that has always been an issue for me, which is why my lights are always on until I go to bed, it just seems to annoy me a bit more now. All in all, I am doing great. Thank you for remembering me:)


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