In the rooms and in the recovery community in general we have a lot of terms and sayings that we use that can be confusing to people at first. A lot of people who come into the rooms hear these words and sometimes they aren’t explained right away, such as: what’s your part, calling someone every time you need to make a decision, meetings don’t keep you sober, 13th stepping, how is your prayer and meditation and do you want my friend answer or recovery answer? I’ve come up with (the most common) 17 things people in recovery understand that normal people don’t.
17 Things People in Recovery Understand That Normal People Don’t
1. Newcomers – In meetings and the rooms you frequently hear the term newcomer; this term refers to someone who is new to sobriety or new to attending meetings.
2. Co-sign – This is usually used amongst friends in recovery; co-signing is someone agreeing with you or going along with whatever idea or story you have thought of.
3. Normies – In the rooms we usually refer to people who aren’t alcoholics or addicts as normies aka normal people or people who don’t suffer from the disease of addiction.
4. Spiritual Malady – When people in the rooms are speaking, you frequently hear them talk about having a spiritual malady. This term means you are not spiritually connected and there is a void blocking you off from experiencing inner-peace.
5. Triggers – A trigger is used to describe certain people, places or things that bring up emotions or desires to drink or get high for the alcoholic or addict.
6. Sick & Suffering – When this is said, it is speaking about the people that aren’t in the rooms or in recovery and are still out there in active addiction.
7. Dry Drunk or Junkie – A dry drunk or junkie is someone who is abstaining from alcohol or drugs but hasn’t found a spiritual solution or working through their issues yet.
8. The Steps – The steps are a guideline to living a new life and being at peace with yourself; steps or certain actions you take to achieving recovery.
9. Taking Inventory – Most people know this term as used in businesses but in recovery it is when you make a list of all of your resentments, fears and sexual inventory. This is a part in the steps that is about looking at your part as opposed to blaming others.
10. Sponsor – This is referred to as a person who has worked the 12 steps and is now going and helping other newcomers work their steps. They expect nothing in return except for you to do the same for others once you have finished your steps.
11. Higher Power – When you enter the rooms they tell you to find a higher power; this is something that is greater than yourself that you can pray to in recovery (Group of Drunks, Nature, The Ocean, Etc…)
12. D.O.C – This is an abbreviation for drug of choice; people typically ask what your drug of choice was in the rooms out of curiosity or to get to know you better.
13. Enablers – An enabler is someone who is a friend or family member who assists or supports an addict or alcoholics actions and behaviors, whether knowingly or unknowingly.
14. 13th step – The 13th step is used to describe the efforts of an old timer or someone with time or knowledge under their belt who tries to date or get with a newcomer or someone with a very small amount of sobriety.
15. Clean – Clean is someone who is abstaining from drugs, normally used in the rooms of NA.
16. Fellowship – This is the actual friendships and relationships part of the meetings. In the meetings we develop a fellowship amongst us and other alcoholics and addicts, like one big family.
17. Carry the Message – This is what all members of fellowships are expected to do once they have a working knowledge of the 12 steps and how to work a program; reach out and help others just like you were so freely helped.
There are so many more terms that we say in the rooms that normies would never understand, but keep that in mind! Sometimes when you’re talking to someone who isn’t in recovery they don’t understand our lingo so you might need to explain it to them. What becomes such common knowledge to us addicts and alcoholics is a foreign concept to people who aren’t in recovery. If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll free 1-800-951-6135.