Can I be honest with you guys? There has been something bothering me in reference to the term addict. Not the word per se, but how some people use it in conjunction with another word….recovering. To me it almost seems like an oxymoron. Makes about as much sense to me as what my mom use to say whenever we got in the car “We’re off like a herd of turtles”. Everyone knows turtles do not take off and they do not travel in herds.
Now, I know many of you are probably thinking that Stuart has gone crazy. I also understand that this post may rile some feathers but please bear with me as I try to explain why I feel this way. And it has been a while that I have felt this way. First off, when you recover anything you are basically reclaiming or regaining something. Like how you recover from a sickness and regain you health. Like how you would recover something stolen from you by someone and regain your property. Secondly, an addict is someone who is physiologically or psychologically dependent on something such as drugs, sex, alcohol, food, control, cigarettes, coffee, etc. So to me, just based on definition, when you add recovering to the word addict it means something totally different than what is meant by the person. I know what they mean but I wish they would use a different term of recovering.
I have been going to Celebrate Recovery for two and half years now. I started going because of the depression that resulted from a failed marriage. It is a wonderful program based on Biblical principles to help someone overcome/recover FROM their hurt, habits, hang-ups and addiction. Every Thursday night, with the exception of a few I have been there..listening. And every time someone introduces themselves they “Hello, my name is______ and I am (either) an addict or recovering addict.” One night not too long ago I could not take it any longer and I spoke up.
I looked at the guys and told them how I felt. I told them to please stop looking at themselves as a recovering addict. The addict in you was part of your old self, not the new self you have in Christ. Once you accepted Christ into your heart and asked him to forgive you, you became free. You are no longer an addict but a new creation in Christ. You are in the renewing of your mind stage…not the addiction stage any longer. I then told them of my addiction to alcohol, how I stopped and why. I shared with them that when I go to the grocery store I have to avoid the beer section because every time I go by it, I just stand there for a second and then walk away. Do I want a beer sometimes. Yes, a good cold Corona would be nice. But I know where it could end up. It no longer has a hold on me. I am not a recovering alcoholic.
I have shared with them my addiction to pornography. I am not a recovering porn addict. I do not crave it. I do not plan my day around it, nor do I get upset if I can’t watch it like an addict does. I walk in the freedom Christ gave me. I am still in the renewing of my mind part, with this one, just like they are with their stuff. Have I fallen and watched or looked at anything pornographic? I must tell the truth and say yes, I have. And felt miserable.
But, at the same time I understand their need to say recovering. It keeps them on their P’s & Q’s. One guy told me that saying that keeps him humble. I was like “brother, if that is what it takes for you to have your freedom then by all means keep saying it.” I then told him if you fall, remember you are not bound to your old ways and that part of exercising your freedom in Christ is by going to the throne of God, ask for forgiveness and get back up. Then stand tall knowing you are forgiven.
For those who use the term recovering addict I mean no disrespect at all by this post. I’m just voicing my thoughts. I applaud you in your decision to allow God to break those chains. I recommend reaching out to someone you trust to talk to and have them pray for you and with you. If you want to talk to me please feel free to do so. You can send me an email or message me on Facebook or Twitter. I will be more than happy to talk with you and pray for you and with you, if you would like.