Maia Svalavits recently wrote an article for substance.com titled “It’s time to reclaim the word “Recovery”.
I rather like Maia's definition of addiction but think it's off the mark in one very important way;
"Addiction, as I see it, is compulsive use or behavior despite negative consequences—and if you have resolved that condition in any way that leaves you socially and occupationally healthy in a stable way, you are “in recovery.”
If you've resolved the condition or underlying issues, then you are RECOVERED not in recovery. In my opinion, addictive behavior is usually a response to some other underlying issues; anything from social anxiety, depression, PTSD, etc.... That's not to say that ALL people who become addicted become so because they are self-medicating some other underlying issue but I think you'll find that it is the case for the vast majority. So once you've unraveled and overcome whatever that issue is, suffer through the withdrawal process, then there is NO REASON to consider yourself "in recovery" any longer. Now do you have the potential to become "addicted" somewhere down the line in the future? Sure, but until that should happen, if it happens, you should not demean yourself with the label or stigma of someone who is "in recovery". You've addressed it, overcome it and moved on in your life. You are no longer a recovering anything, you're just YOU.
I can't stand the terms "in recovery" or "recovering", that's why I titled my book "The Freedom to Recover". It's a process that can, should and does have a finality to it if you make the decision that that's how it's going to be. So if you "recover", that's it....you are now "recovered", finite, done, moving on......Screw this lifetime of recovery crap and “in recovery” crap!