Here’s a list of definitions of all of your basic recovery terms.
10 Words That Have a Totally Different Meaning When You’re in Recovery
1. Craving –
A craving is known as a powerful desire for something; but in the recovery world it is specifically applied to craving to use drugs and alcohol. Cravings can be so powerful with addicts and alcoholics that they can cause a lot of us to start using drugs and alcohol again. It is usually called a physical craving.
2. Addict –
People are always saying they’re addicted to Netflix or addicted to chocolate; but in the recovery community an addict is someone who is or was physically and mentally addicted to a substance such as drugs or alcohol.
3. Co-sign –
Co-signing is usually when someone puts their name down on an agreement or document with another person; but in recovery speak co-sign is when you happen to be making some sort of a decision (usually a bad one) and someone agrees with it and goes along with it. Basically they are neglecting to call you out and choose to look the other way.
4. Obsession –
Obsession is commonly known as being obsessed with someone or something; but in the recovery world it is known as the obsession to use drugs or alcohol. It is an obsession of the mind that the addict and alcoholic can’t control; unless they are working a program of recovery in which case the obsession is lifted.
5. Higher Power –
Typically a higher power is considered a religious term and refers to a God of some sort; but in recovery speak a higher power is used in a spiritual way and to be aware that you are not the greatest thing on this planet, that there is something more powerful than you out there.
6. Sponsor –
A sponsor is usually known as someone who is funding someone for a cause or even has been known as a name girls use for their ‘sugar daddies’; but in the recovery community a sponsor is a person who takes you through the 12 steps of the program and shares their experience, strength and hope with you. This should be a person who has knowledge of the program and has been through the 12 steps and are like a mentor to you.
7. Enabling –
Enabling can mean positively helping someone grow or learn or negatively making a problem worse in a situation; but in the recovery world enabling is commonly referring to an addict or alcoholic’s family or loved ones and their part in aiding the addict to continue on in their addiction.
8. Recovery –
Recovery is usually known to mean be the process of recovering from something such as a surgery or sickness or even recovering a lost item; but we know recovery to mean recovering from our addiction to drugs and alcohol, working a 12-step program and living the principles in our everyday lives.
9. Powerlessness –
The term powerlessness can mean to lack the capacity or authority to act or being devoid of strength or resources; but in recovery speak powerlessness means we are powerless over our addiction to drugs and alcohol and especially powerless if we consume drugs or alcohol – once we put substances in our system we don’t know when we will stop or where we will end up.
10. Rehabilitation –
Rehabilitation is to bring someone or something back to a normal, healthy or good condition after an illness, injury or etc.; but in recovery it means to go to a treatment center and remain at the facility for a period of time to learn how to live life without drugs and alcohol.
If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll free 1-800-951-6135.