Sobriety Versus Recovery

addiction recovery May 28, 2019

“Quitting smoking is easy, I’ve done it a hundred times."

— Mark Twain

Many people use the term “recovery” when they actually mean “sobriety.” Sobriety without recovery is simply abstinence—a cessation of a negative activity, but not necessarily a state that leads to long-term freedom and heart change. A big part of real recovery is a spiritual process, a partnership of healing of God working through people. The 1st step to recovery begins with sobriety.


Sobriety: To abstain from an addictive behavior.

Addiction: To continue to do a self-destructive behavior despite the consequences; an inability to stop; a loss of control.

Recovery: To return to a former healthy state (i.e., “Who were you before you were hurt by yourself and others?”)


When I do the weekend seminars I always ask the audience; how many of you are addicts? Usually a few people raise her hands. Then I give my definition of addiction, which is; to continue a self-destructive behavior in spite of the consequences.

So, I ask; how many of you out there don’t do anything that you know is not good for you.

Usually no one raises their hands.

So, if you’re doing something that you know is not good for you why don’t you just stop?

That’s crazy to keep doing something you know is not good for you.

So, why do you keep doing it?

Obviously because it’s there to cope with something.

I ask again, how many of you are addicts?

Almost everybody raises their hands.


Whether it’s food, chemicals, anxiety, anger, electronics, sex, work addiction, we all have adopted coping behaviors that have become habitual. Real freedom is usually a spiritual process called recovery, which is to return to the person you were before you were wounded and found a way to cope, which in turn helped you do function–– feel normal.

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