Veronica Valli and I (5) discuss ‘recovered’ vs ‘recovering’

Veronica and I met a couple of weeks ago on Skype and during this conversation we discuss how the AA fellowship perceives ‘recovered’ alcoholics as opposed to ‘recovering’ and the difference between the ‘fellowship’ of AA and the ‘programme’ of AA.

As someone who has a copy of the Big Book, which is the ‘programme’, but who has only been to one 12 step meeting, which is the fellowship, I find AA fascinating and over the next 12 sessions we are going to discuss each of the 12 steps.  I am interested to learn how the steps can be used to resolve the ‘spiritual malady’ that AA talks of without necessarily attending a 12 step meeting and Veronica has very kindly agree to be my guide, and because it’s recorded, you can share the journey too 🙂

Look out for the next conversation in the coming weeks or subscribe if you don’t want to miss it!

Veronica Valli is an Addictions Therapist and the author of Why you drink and How to stop:…


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PS Over 450 of you have subscribed to receive my e-book since it launched and I am so grateful for the support.  You can now buy it on Amazon and it is being well-received there with three 5 star reviews already! Please feel free to go add a review yourself if you’ve read it and benefited from it.  If you are reading this and haven’t subscribed I’m offering a free place on my newly launched Udemy course for the 500th subscriber so go sign up at the top of the page if you haven’t all ready! 🙂

8 thoughts on “Veronica Valli and I (5) discuss ‘recovered’ vs ‘recovering’

  1. Buying the Big Book was the first step I took on my sober journey; you can actually read it for free online. Someone on Living Sober said, and I agree, that no matter how you feel about AA or 12-step programs, it’s a great resource for understanding alcoholism. Looking forward to your discussions about the 12 steps 🙂 xx

    1. I agree Lori. Everything has something to say and to add to our understanding 🙂 xx

  2. I love how Veronica explains it – that has been my experience too. I call myself recovered, but it really is a personal thing. The BB says “recovered”, but many folks feel uncomfortable saying it, thinking that people may think “cured”. It’s not cured – it’s never cured! But like Veronica says, we are recovered from that state of mind which cripples us and eventually brings us to the drink.

    I used to debate it often, but now I am at the point where I don’t care what people think – if you use recovered, awesome. if it’s recovering, awesome 🙂

    Great vid!


    1. Thanks Paul and I’m glad it resonated with you and that you use the same language as Veronica. I love learning about the intricacies of this recovery programme so thank you for adding your perspective too 🙂

  3. perhaps this is like the thing about whether you are more comfortable with saying ‘one day at a time’ or ‘forever’? it completely and utterly doesn’t matter which suits you best. what matters is you FIND OUT WHICH and keep to that. not belabour yourself with the wrong word?

    I’m pretty sure I’ve said this in a comment before but I now consider myself an ex-drinker, in the same way I’m an ex-smoker. so I guess that puts me on the ‘recovered’ end of the spectrum.

    and i found it very interesting what Veronica was saying about the actual disease of alcoholism being her underlying personality traits which were there before she ever picked up a drink. because I know that’s not how I think about it. (again, not saying that’s not valid, just saying that doesn’t suit me.)

    I think of my alcohol dependence in the same way I thought of my over eating, of my smoking, of my workaholism. as maladaptive behaviours arising from the underlying core of dis-satisfaction with myself. and I need to be able to consider them as separable from myself, so that I can remove them from ‘me’, like leeches (ugh!) and move on, healing that core without them.

    thanks to you both for a thought provoking video, watched in the car whilst waiting to pick up kids. it’s so lovely that I can take this soberverse with me wherever I am in my life! looking forward to the new series of The Lou and Veronica Show 🙂 🙂 xx

    1. Thanks Prim. It’s so interesting the power of language isn’t it? I call myself a smoker who chooses not smoke and a drinker who chooses not to drink. Not sure where that fits in the recovered vs recovering – probably recovered. I am interested in whether it stems from our childhood experiences though and there is a fantastic blog post which appeared yesterday that discusses it: I agree I love the soberverse because it gifted me this well researched blog post which answers a niggle I’ve been considering since I started at Cambridge 🙂 xx

  4. Great interview and I’m excited that you’re going to discuss each of the 12 steps. I haven’t gone to an AA meeting but have wondered if working through the steps would be helpful. Thanks Lou and Veronica!
    P.S. Just realized that today is my 10 month soberversary. It’s nice how it snuck up on me because I’m no longer counting days. A big thank you, Lou, for helping me get to this point. 🙂 Onward and upward!

    1. 10 months Julie? Woop woop!!! 🙂 We’ve recorded the first two steps and they’ll be coming up in the next month. Hope you have a lovely sober treat lined up to celebrate xx

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