• Question: Do you believe a full recovery from alcohol addiction is possible, or that recovery is an ongoing process?

    Asked by Darcy to Claire on 13 Jun 2018.
    • Photo: Claire Melia

      Claire Melia answered on 13 Jun 2018:

      Really glad you asked this question, I really wanted to answer it in the group chat but ran out of time! Yes and no. I actually went to a conference last week all about recovery so this is really topical for me right now. It really depends on how you define recovery. Is it the goal and simply reducing your alcohol consumption to a non-harmful? Or is recovery something else, more of a process and a philosophical concept?

      If we define recovery as reducing your alcohol consumption, then yes you can be fully recovered. However, recovery is a lot more than just a process or a treatment. A lot of people who go through recovery actually use this title of ‘recovery’ as an identity. It can be a form of group membership and to these individuals recovery is really important. So if you define yourself as a ‘recoverist’, you may say that you are forever in recovery as it will always be a part of your identity. It really does depend on who you are and what recovery means to you.

      I’m aware that’s not a simple answer and it really is very personal to the individual. However, if I had to pick, then I would say it’s an ongoing process. You can be recovered, but I think it’s a part of you and your story that will always be there and it will always impact your relationship with alcohol and something you need to be continually aware of in certain situations. If you think about depression for example, you may no longer be depressed, but you will also always know that you have an underlying trigger and you need to manage your situations and keep an eye out for possible warning signs. Similarly with alcohol, I believe you can be recovered but that doesn’t mean you are no longer in recovery!

      I hope that at least sort of answers your question 🙂