What is the difference between nourishment and recovery

Being "sober" versus "recovery"

There is an important difference between "sober" and "rested". The differences are clear to those who have experienced both stages of their healing process from alcoholism.

When an alcoholic is "sober" from alcohol without participating in any utility, therapy, drug management, and / or treatment, then in some way they "knuckle" their sobriety (also known as a "dry drunk").

These people may stay away from alcohol but fail to address the underlying problems that either led to their alcohol use or that developed over the course of their alcoholism.

Many "sober" alcoholics who are not in "recovery" will experience an addiction transfer that could include a new addiction to food, sex, shopping, romantic relationships, etc. because they have not found a healthy way to fill the void who had satisfied alcohol. They may have stopped drinking, but their lives may be exactly the same, which makes them jealous of others who drink or struggle with emotional or mental health problems.

An alcoholic in "recovery" is essentially in remission from alcoholism. Their alcoholism is not cured but is kept in check so that they are free from food cravings and mental obsession.

They have also addressed their underlying problems (mental health, spiritual, physical) that led to or resulted from their drinking. These alcoholics have found a way to fill the void once satisfied by alcohol through spiritual, emotional, and / or behavioral solutions learned through treatment, therapy, drug management, and / or mutual aid groups (AA, SMART Recovery ). They have made significant changes that have enabled them to find peace in removing alcohol from their lives and having emotional stability.

Some people with alcohol problems can easily and permanently quit drinking without craving or obsessing over alcohol. They may not have been primarily alcoholic, but may be heavy or problem drinkers (see Differences Between Social Drinkers, Problem Drinkers, and Alcoholics for more information). In contrast, alcoholics can abstain for some time without help, but in most cases inevitably revert to their previous drinking habits.

Alcoholism resources and more information on high functioning alcoholics are available here.