Which is why I struggle with ‘recovery’. The term, as well as the fact.
Does it have stages, like an exam: practical and theory? A trial period when you’re on ‘L-plates’ before you’re let loose on the motorway?
What does it actually mean?
A change in behaviour? A change in thinking? A change of heart?
There’s a category doctors use for those who maintain their behaviours at a ‘manageable’ level: ‘Professional’ addicts. Partial recovery: not as bad as it could be. But not living either.
Is that the end point? Or is there more?
Is it a process – or a destination? Can I get there and then go back?
Maybe it’s a question of tense. Recovering, as opposed to recovered.
– My name’s Bob and I’m an alcoholic. Dry for ten years, but still – alcoholic.
Or perhaps it’s about definition.
– ex-anorexic? (that’s a spiky meatball)
– recovering anorexic?
– None of the above?
I’m reluctant to define myself according to a disorder: it’s a part of me, but not the whole. And yet. There’s a power in naming something that insists it isn’t there.
But what is the something: Sickness? Choice? Both?
And where does faith fit?
I have friends: Christians, who have known almost instant deliverance: a freeing from the addictions that have enslaved them for years.
I also have friends: Christians, for whom every day is a battle. Who are very close to giving up – or already have.
In my own experience, the Lord has worked what was impossible in my own strength. But it’s taking a while. Six months to go downhill. Six years to crawl back. A miracle – in increments.
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