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The “Recovery-Speak” Dictionary – More Definitions

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The “Recovery-Speak” Dictionary – More Definitions

When I published our first edition of our “Recovery-Speak Dictionary” in this blog,  I thought it was just for “normies” like me working in the field of addiction.  Now I know it is helpful to families and friends, too.  I keep jotting down new words and phrases as I hear them.   Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Bill Wilson.jpg

Thanks to Pamela Graham, our brilliant Big Book Counselor  and Joe Shaughnessy,  Resident Manager of Brentwood House Sober Living, for these recent translations.  

Dedicated to Bill and Los Wilson – did they ever imagine that one day recovery would be so widespread it would have its own lingo?  

1.  Picked Up

Translation:  drank or used drugs again, as in “picked up a drink or a drug.”

2.  13th Stepping

Translation:   Picked Up in Non-RecoverySpeak. To those in recovery it means inappropriately approaching others in the 12 Step Program for dating, especially approaching newcomers who are emotionally vulnerable and need to place their recovery as their first priority

3.  Grand Sponsee

Translation:  A sponsee is a person someone longer in recovery is taking or has taken through the 12 Steps. When that sponsee sponsors someone else, the original sponsor is called the “Grand Sponsee.”

4.Take a Cake

Definition:  A person in recovery in Southern California will usually celebrate another year of sobriety at a 12-Step meeting by blowing out candles on a cake and sharing about his/her recovery.  Not done in Northern California or some other states but so important here that so some alumni come back to Malibu to take their cake.  

5.  Got Jammed Up

Definition:  A series of challenging events or circumstances occurred that overwhelmed the person in recovery and caused him/her to loose, temporarily,  perspective on things.  

6.  Toxic:

Definition:  An unhealthy condition or behavior in a relationship or a circumstance that may be threatening to maintaining one’s wellbeing & sobriety.  It is frequently said that to recover successfully, an addict needs to leave his/her “toxic environment” which triggers using drugs or drinking.  

7.  Wreckage from the past

Definition:  Karmic debt. Stuff one takes care of in steps 8 and 9.  

8.   Hit bottom

Definition:  When an addict goes to that place that he/she said he/she would  never go.  Usually the best day of your life.  This is when the moment of clarity shows up and the addict seeks help.  

9.   Got a Commitment

Definition:  People in recovery volunteer for regular jobs at 12 Step meetings. Most frequently this means making coffee, greeting arrivals, and chairing the meeting.

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