Recovery is called "recovery" and not "recovered" for a reason. It's a process and a learning experience.
That's why addicts say they are in recovery and not "cured" or "recovered."
When you say "cured," "recovered" and "have it/ do it no more" that does two things to your head.
1) It doesn't give you room for set backs. If you believe you are cured and get triggered about something years down the road, you beat yourself up as a failure
2) It gives you the mindset of arrogance. You look upon people who have not "graduated" and you believe you are superior.
When you graduate High School, they give you a diploma. It doesn't mean you stop learning at that point. It just means you succeeded in following all the steps needed to get out of school.
Does it mean you know everything? Hell no. It just means that you have a basic knowledge to get a job, accomplish life skills, and maybe go to college to learn more.
But even if you forget everything you were taught, you have no need to go back and learn it again because you have a piece of paper that says you're "done." This piece of paper gives you the right to say you have accomplished, while others still in High School have not.
Does it give you the right to pander, ridicule or judge the people still in High School? No. All that does is make those still learning feel like [BEEP] because they have not accomplished what you have at that point. Even posting a "pep talk" to them is judgmental and sounds like a patronizing person talking to a bunch of slow learners. What may be be construed as "inspiration" by the graduate, is and can be viewed as "look at me, I graduated and you have not. Haha!"
Recovery is different. When a person completes any 12 step program, they know that the last step is about helping others learn what you have. In other words, they can become sponsors of this world.
Celebrate Recovery's 12th step:
Having had a spiritual experience as the result of these steps, we pledged to carry this message to others, and practice these principles in all our affairs.
AA's 12th step:
"Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs."
NA's 12th step:
Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
What are the key words? Spiritual awakening, carry this message, practice these principles in all our affairs.
Now what is step 10?
We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
So nowhere in recovery does it say we are cured and that we can now go back and laud over our accomplishment to the ones on a different step of recovery. All that does is set you up for failure and make others feel bad.
I am recovering from SA. So are others here. We are all on different steps.
In some ways I am on step 12 in that I support others who are struggling with something. I have the experience to support and maybe even help. I made a commitment to stay here for awhile to both give and get support. My helping nature lends me that motivation to support others. I am "carrying the message," (12th step) to others. Some on this forum have helped and then moved on to allow others to be helpers.
Are those who have stayed to carry the message "failures?" Hardly. Should AA leaders, who are recovering alcoholics be looked down upon because they are still going to the meetings? No. Not at all.
There are days when I have setbacks and have to go back to an earlier step. I recently had a panic attack and haven't had one in years. It was an unknown trigger which is the usual causes of setbacks. Was I back in High School? No. Did I deserve those who had achieved a higher steps judgment and gloating? No. I am human.
Those who think they are "recovered" rather than "in recovery" are the most prone to misery and failure. They see the world in black and white rather than in a gray area. Therefore if a trigger comes up later in life, they see themselves as "failed" rather than "hey, I had a minor setback but I'm still much farther along than I was."
So I'm asking you guys on this forum to look at this and let me know how you feel?
When you believe you are ready to move on, then do so because it means that you are around the 12th step of recovery. Give yourself the opportunity to make mistakes. Many of our friends here have done just that. They have moved on with their lives. Can they come back if they have a setback? Sure. Does it mean they failed if they came back to work on one or two unresolved issues? No.
But please understand that coming back with an arrogant "I am cured, I am better than you" attitude is just one big no win situation for everyone involved.
Belonging to any recovery program such as AA, Celebrate Recovery, NA or even here, does not equate to failure. It also does not define your level of recovery. This is not High School. You have not graduated. You have merely moved to another phase in your life.
Moving to another phase also does not give you the right to gloat. All gloating does is hurt you and others.
We are all learning, growing and bettering our lives.
So please remember that, ok?