Friday, March 26, 2010


Some of us are new to recovery and the concept of the 12 steps. Listed below is some essential vocabulary.

ABSTINENCE (also abstain; abstention)- refraining from use of drug or (in our case) contact or indulgence with/of our ex. This a pillar of our program.

ADDICTION- impaired control over drug use. If you're questioning whether you're struggling with addiction or something less heavy, ask the following question: “Do you continue to behave in a manner that has previously caused problems for you?” (via the DSM IV)

BOUNDARY (VERBAL)-a neutral/non activating statement or phrase that closes off your ex, and their requests, without starting an argument. Example: No, thank you.

BOYFRIEND- a boyfriend is a male counterpart that respects you, wants to see you during the day, calls you his "girlfriend" and wants to introduce you to everyone he knows as such. If the man in your life is not meeting the criteria listed above, he is NOT your boyfriend.


CROSS ADDICTION- dependence on two different substances. Your ex and booze, your ex and food, your ex and shopping etc etc etc.

CUNNING, BAFFLING, POWERFUL- aa adjectives used to describe your drug of choice. They are usually all of the above and this is part of the reason their grip feels inescapable.

CONTROLLED INDULGENCE-the idea that one day we'll be able to have casual contact with our ex's, as "friends." We will learn that no real addict can indulge in their drug without quickly spiraling out of control.

CHARACTER FLAW-a fundamental flaw within ourselves that keeps us coming back to our ex or other damaging relationships. This flaw is to be discovered and annihilated.

CIRCLE OF SUPPORT-a group of friends, family, co-workers, who are willing to support you as you work through the 12 steps. They have a clear understanding of your goals and will confront you when they feel you are at risk for falling back into addictive behaviors.

CO-DEPENDENCE- A complex relational dynamic. Compromising yourself and your stability for the sake and safety of others then resenting those others and yourself. Rinse and Repeat (Via Leah, who is working the program).


DENIAL- the act of refusing to admit one's addiction. Denial can be conscious or unconscious.

DETOX- (detoxification) process of weening off the drug .

DRUG OF CHOICE -(also DOC) the phrase we use in place of our ex's name.

DRY-sometimes we refer to those that are abstaining as "dry"

DELAY METHOD, The- technique used to minimize cravings. When hit with an urge to indulge, remind yourself that you'll indulge tomorrow. Continue to push it off day after day, ad infinitum. The day to indulge never arrives.

ENABLER- someone who, out of over compassion or disregard for our well being, encourages us to continue to indulge in our ex or in his/her behavior. (also, enabling) Example: Friends who advise, "Maybe he/she just doesn't know what he/she wants yet, you should be patient with them." OR "I know your ex loves you, he just has a funny way of showing it."

FAITH- the ability to believe that things will get better despite not knowing how or why. FAITH is not necessarily based in a particular religion or religious practice.

FACEBOOK STALKING-breaking into your DOC's facebook account and/or frequently checking his/her page for updates. You are ready for recovery when you are ready to "unfriend" your ex.

HIGHER POWER- a power, greater than ourselves, that we believe will keep us free from our addiction. Believing in a higher power requires a certain level of humility (see humble below)

HIGH (as in contact)-the air headed feeling you associate with together time with your ex. If you do some reality testing(see below) you will find that these positive feelings were scarcer than originally thought.

HUMBLE- opposite of proud or arrogant. One must become humble in order to tolerate interventions from friends. These interventions will be brutally honest and sometimes painful. Denial will be activated and we'll excuse away all our previous behavior. Humility helps us retain the message of these interventions and accept assistance from our higher power.

IDENTIFICATION- the act of relating to someone's addiction story. Recognizing the addictive behavior in their actions should help you recognize your own behavior as addictive.

INTERVENTION-the attempt of a caring individuals to show you how damaging your addiction has been. One must LISTEN and AVOID BECOMING DEFENSIVE in order to derive the correct message from an intervention.

LONGING- (One of the three L's) A strong persistent yearning or desire, usually cannot be fulfilled. Contact with your ex will be brief and upon leaving their physical space, the longing will return. Longing is something that can only be quenched by self work.

LONELINESS- (One of the three L's) Lacking companions. Does not have to be negative but is often associated with feelings of emptiness, undesirability or insignificance. Contact with your ex will be brief and upon leaving their physical space, the loneliness will return. Loneliness is something that can only be quenched by self work.

LUST-One of the three L's. Craving for sexual intimacy. See explanations above and apply here.

3 Ls, The- longing, loneliness and lust. All the wrong reasons we keep returning to our drug of choice. Contact with our ex or with any object of desire does not extinguish these feelings.

MEETINGS- two or more addicts, gathered for the purpose of promoting or maintaining abstinence. Attendance at AA/NA or Sex and Love addicts anonymous meetings are encouraged!

MEDITATION-quiet time during which a person attempts to go "beyond thought." Recommended for the morning. For free guided meditation audio clips- go to itunes store and search Gabrielle Berstein (more on her later).

ONE DAY AT A TIME- Do not plan your sobriety too far in advance. Taking smaller steps is more manageable and less overwhelming.

PEOPLE, PLACES AND THINGS- the major triggers to relapse. People, places and things that remind us of our ex could put us in danger of relapsing to addictive behavior. Make a list of people, places and things that remind you of your ex and then avoid them.

PROGRAM, THE- The program of recovery you are currently utilizing to abstain.

PRAYER- contact with your higher power, during which you communicate your desires and express gratitude for all your blessings.

RECOVERY-the period of life you enter once you start working the 12 steps.

REHAB-usually refers to a structured inpatient or residential facility where one can minimize the temptation of their DOC and begin important self work with licensed clinical professions. For more information, google Lindsay Lohan.

RELAPSE-indulging in addictive behavior after a period of sobriety.

RESENTMENT-feelings of animosity towards others as a result of some perceived harm they have caused us. "In recovery, we cannot afford to harbor resentments because they corrode our lives and can lead us back to alcohol." (via AA glossary)

RIGOROUS HONESTY-the ability to put your pride aside. Characterized by a lack of intent to deceive one's self or anyone else.

REALITY TESTING-the act of distinguishing between your perception of the relationship and what is actually happening within that relationship.

SERENITY PRAYER-God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

SERVICE-healing ourselves and then carrying that message of healing to others.

SHARING-telling your story.

SPONSOR-S.P.O.N.S.O.R. is a Sober Person Offering a Newcomer Suggestions On Recovery. A reliable and trustworthy individual who guides and supports you as you work through the 12 steps.

STEPS- short for the 12 steps we follow in recovery.

SURRENDER -accepting the first three steps. 1) admitting that we are powerless over our drug and that our live have become unmanageable, 2)coming to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity, and 3) turning our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand Him. Surrender is the key to recovery. Only when we completely surrender are we willing to let a Power greater than ourselves restore us to sanity.

TERMINALLY UNIQUE-the idea that the "uniqueness" of your situation exempts you from the addict label. Holding on to this uniqueness is a form of denial.

TRIGGER(S)-environmental or emotional factors that produce a strong urge to use.

TEXTUALLY FRUSTRATED-the feelings of anticipation, obsession and disappointment that set in after sending a text to your DOC and awaiting a response.

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