Ýmsar skilgreiningar í ráðgjöf (glossary of recovery terms)

Fræðsluefni / Ýmsar skilgreiningar í ráðgjöf


Following is a directory of some recovery „jargon“ words you may not find in a dictionary but will probably hear in recovery circles.

Addictive. Addictive behaviors are more dangerous than compulsive ones. “Addictive” refers to behaviors that are out of control and causing negative consequences in our lives, but that we persist in anyway. Addictive behaviors usually are engaged in to get high or get numb. We can be addicted to a substance, such as alcohol or drugs, or to a behavior, such as sex or gambling.

Being who we are. This means being true to ourselves, letting ourselves be, and loving, cherishing, accepting, and nurturing ourselves.

Boundaries. Our boundaries are our limits: how far we go with others, how far we allow them to go with us. We can define boundaries only for ourselves. Our boundaries define what we allow to come into our lives. We are seeking to allow less pain, chaos, abuse, and negative energy into our lives, and we’re making room for positive experiences.

Caretaking. This is one of the, most important words we learn in recovery. It means taking responsibility for others. Too often, it also means not taking responsibility for ourselves. We may tend to take inappropriate responsibility for the feelings, thoughts, behaviors, problems, choices, and life course of others. Now we are learning to do that for ourselves. We can tell if our caretaking is appropriate or not by the results of the behavior: Codependent caretaking makes us feel used, victimized, unappreciated, and unsuccessful in our efforts. We feel controlled by the needs of others and simultaneously feel that our needs are not getting met. True helping and healthy giving are good, and different from caretaking.

The child within (inner child). This popular recovery concept refers to the fact that regardless of our age, we each have a young child within us with all the feelings, fears, complexities, simplicities, and needs we had when we were that age. We may be forty years old, brave, successful, and competent, but inside is a frightened four-year-old who needs a hug, some comforting words, and a balloon. Many of us ignore this child within. That’ doesn’t work. This child will start acting out and defeating us until we listen. Gradually, we earn how to recognize, listen to, and nurture this part of ourselves.

Compulsive. When we act in a compulsive manner, we do things because we feel that we have to. Often, when we aren’t dealing with our feelings, compulsivity sets in. That’s because compulsive behaviors help us run from our feelings.

Controlling. Our behavior is controlling when we are trying to force things to happen, trying to make people do what we want them to do, and trying to make life happen the way we think it should. We learn to recognize when we are controlling because a) we feel crazy; b) our efforts don’t work; and c) we alienate others. We learn that the best way to deal with controlling is not to sit on our hands, but to deal with the feelings underlying our need to control. Usually those feelings include fear.

Crisis (Chaos). Chaos is the ongoing state of unmanageability in our lives. When a critical stage is reached, crisis occurs. This is what we’re trying to avoid in recovery, not through denial but by setting up lives that are peaceful and manage recovery. Some of us learned to enjoy the drama and found ourselves getting into chaos that was not our business or to crisis that we react to everything as though it is a crisis situation. Now, we’re learning to relish peace instead of chaos and stop making the proverbial mountains out of molehills.

Dealing with feelings. This can be an uncomfortable experience, initially. It means we stop running from our emotions, from what’s really going on with us. We stand still and feel our feelings. Feelings are emotional energy; our feelings are our responsibility. We avoid blaming our emotions on others; letting our feelings control us; and trying to control others with our feelings. Usually, that’s all that’s required to make them go away. Ignoring our feelings doesn’t make them go away; it makes them get bigger, or come out in strange, unpredictable, and often undesirable, ways. Many of us learned in our families that it wasn’t okay to feel. Now, we’re learning differently. We’re learning to accept and value the emotional part of ourselves as important and closely connected to happiness and health.

Denial. Most of us are good at this. Denial refers to our ability to ignore what is happening, even when it is right before our eyes. We do this to protect ourselves until we are ready to face the truth. Part of us knows what’s true; part of us knows what’s real. By connecting to recovery groups and other recovering people, that part of us feels safe and strong enough to surface.

Detachment. This is often our first lesson in codependency recovery. It is the beginning of learning boundaries: the difference between us and the other person. It is the remedy for caretaking and controlling. It means we let go of others; we release them with love. If we’re too angry to detach in love, we detach anyway; we work on our angry feelings and let love and compassion come later. We detach daily from others, from what we cannot control, from what we cannot change. We detach from unhealthy entanglements with the business and affairs of others. Detachment means we stop trying to make someone or something different. Instead, we try doing nothing for a while, which is usually harder for us than doing something. After we detach, we focus on taking responsibility for ourselves. Then, we learn about acceptance.

Easy Does It. Twelve Step slogan that gives us permission to relax, lighten up, and let things happen. It tells us we don’t have to try so hard, when trying so hard makes us crazy. Things work better with a light, natural touch. We need to go with the flow.

Family-of-origin work. This phrase refers to the process of looking at our pasts to learn what behaviors we brought forward to our present. This work allows us to heal from our pasts. This includes healing from the feelings, behavior patterns, beliefs, and any incidents of abuse we suffered as children. This is an important process.

Guilt. Guilt is the feeling of self-reproach we experience when j we blame ourselves for things that happened or feelings we’ve had. Most of us feel at fault for everything when we begin recovery. Some of it is earned; some of it isn’t. By working the Steps, we learn to tell the difference so we can deal with appropriately. Amends and forgiveness of self and others is the remedy for real guilt. Unearned guilt can be banished with self-love and realistic thinking.

Hidden agenda. This refers to a secret plan or list of needs that one is not talking about but that is nevertheless controlling one’s relationships with others. It means things are different than they appear. Sometimes, we may not know what other people’s hidden agendas are; sometimes, we’re not certain what our own are. Our goal in recovery is to avoid people with unhealthy agendas (for instance, the need to use or abuse us); and to keep in touch with our true agendas.

Insanity. This is a term we use to describe the unmanageability in our lives, It is not used to describe a typical psychotic state: We use it loosely to describe our crazy, self-defeating behaviors.

Issues. An issue is a point of debate or controversy, a matter to be resolved. In recovery, we let other people have their own, and we take responsibility for ours.

Let Go and Let God. This is a famous Twelve Step program slogan. It means we stop trying to control everybody and everything, and we let God do God’s work. Many of us find this is a delightful concept when we practice it, because God manages things better than we do.

Letting go. This means that we stop obsessing, controlling, or any other futile, self-defeating behavior, and we let people be and things happen. We specifically try to let go to God. We deal with our feelings, take care of ourselves, live one day at a time, and trust. The rest, we let go of.

Live and Let Live. This is a Twelve Step slogan that defines our search for healthy boundaries. It means that we let others go about their business, and we put our energy into living our own lives.

Manipulation. This behavior is closely related to controlling. It means that we try to get what we want indirectly or in a dishonest fashion. We try to seduce, control, trick, or trap people into doing what we want them to do because we are afraid to ask and be direct or hear a “no.” Many of us have done this so long we may not be aware we’re doing it. Sometimes manipulation works, but if s usually accompanied by bad feelings.

Nurturing. Nurturing acts are those that cultivate growth and good feelings in our selves or others. In recovery we learn to nurture our selves, and others when we want to. We also learn to let others nurture us. Nurturing activities include: hugging, positive touch, dancing, playing, rocking, going for a walk, sleeping with a Teddy bear, picking a flower, taking a hot bath/ and getting a back rub. Any treatment of ourselves that makes us feel comforted, helps us play/ or is pleasurable, is nurturing. Nurturing can be a well-timed gentle word, a feeling, an activity, a touch, or a gift.

Obsessing. Obsessing is what happens when our mental energies become compulsively tied into nonproductive thought patterns, usually about another person or a situation. We find that we can’t stop thinking about someone or something. That person or circumstance has gained control of our minds and sometimes our lives. The” remedies for obsession are detachment, dealing with our feelings, meditation, and letting go. Obsessing is a second cousin to worry, which doesn’t work either.

One Day At a Time. This is a Twelve Step slogan that defines an innovative but effective approach to life: Instead of living tomorrow today, or next week today, or reliving yesterday, we live each day as it comes.

Owning our power. Our power is our ability to take responsibility for ourselves—to think, feel, solve problems, and find our direction. Our power lies in speaking our truth, setting appropriate boundaries, refusing to tolerate abuse or mistreatment, and sometimes, being vulnerable. Our power means discerning what is real and right for us. Owning our power does not mean controlling others or having power over them. It doesn’t mean allowing others to control us. It doesn“t mean reacting to others out of fear or a need to manage them. It means finding that centered place within us and acting from that place.

Pain. In recovery the word pain refers to emotional pain, like anger, guilt, and hurt. Some of us are so used to being in emotional pain, we think it’s normal. It’s not. Our goal in recovery is to feel any emotional pain we have and be done with it. If painful feelings arise during the course of our recovery, which they will, we accept and feel them. We stop doing things to cause pain and begin doing things that help us feel good. Most of us find that our tolerance for pain decreases, the longer we’ve been recovering. We like to feel good.

Peace. Peace is a state of tranquility and harmony. Peace feels good. It comes with the recovery package. It may make you feel uncomfortable at first, but you’ll learn to like it.

People-pleasing. People-pleasing means doing things simply to make people like us. Usually, we do this because we don’t believe people would like or love us otherwise. This behavior is closely connected to caretaking. In recovery, we learn to do things that please ourselves. And we trust ourselves enough to understand that this will include engaging in loving, nurturing behaviors toward others: not to make others love us, but because we love others.

Reactions. Often, we have patterned reactions to people that have been learned, reminiscent of Pavlov’s dogs. They do something, and we immediately and instinctively react in a predictable manner, even though our reaction may not accomplish anything. In recovery, we learn that we can choose how we want to act. That takes the control of our lives away from others and frees us to choose a course of conduct that will work more effectively for us and our relationships.

Resentment. Resentments are angry feelings that we haven’t dealt with, resolved, or let go of. They develop from anger that isn’t fully felt. The remedy for resentment is fully feeling our anger, releasing our anger, taking any appropriate action (such as setting a boundary or making an amend), then topping it off with forgiveness. In recovery, we learn to talk about our feelings, including our anger and resentment, in a productive, healthy way.

Shame. This is that dark feeling of unworthiness and guilt. Most of us have so much of it that we think it’s normal. In recovery we gradually learn to substitute self-love and acceptance for shame.

Sharing. This doesn’t mean we let others drive our car. It means we open up about who we really are.

Spirituality. In recovery we are growing spiritually; we’re on a spiritual journey. Spirituality is not the same as religion, although many recovering people go to church. It is about our spirit, our personal relationship to a Power greater than our selves, and our relationship with our selves.

Surrender. This means to accept, give in, give up, and let our lives happen. If s a spiritual concept. It is also ironic in that many of us fight doing this but find ourselves feeling quite good once we do.

Taking care of ourselves. This is when we give ourselves physical and emotional care and support. It means taking loving and appropriate responsibility for ourselves, and our responsibilities, including appropriate responsibilities to others. It’s what many of us haven’t been doing but are learning to do. (Taking care of ourselves is not to be confused with rolling over others. When what we’re doing is self-care, we don’t need to announce it with a bullhorn.)

Unfinished business. If we don’t do our family-of-origin work, this is what we will have. Unfinished business refers to unresolved matters, feelings, and past incidents, that constitute issues that we still need to address. If we have unfinished business, we will be attracting lessons and situations into our lives that will be reminiscent of the feelings, behavior patterns, beliefs, and abuse we suffered as children and sometimes as adults. We will be controlled by our pasts. Our goal in recovery is to set ourselves free from our pasts, so that what we do today is what we choose to do.

Victim. A victim is someone who suffers—voluntarily or not —pain or harm inflicted by sell or others. This is what we used to believe we were. This is what we’re not. 

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