Alcoholics Anonymous - The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism.
"WE, OF Alcoholics Anonymous, are more than one hundred men and women who have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. To show other alcoholics precisely how we have recovered is the main purpose of this book. For them, we hope these pages will prove so convincing that no further authentication is necessary. We think this account of our experiences will help everyone to better understand the alcoholic. Many do not comprehend that the alcoholic is a very sick person. And besides, we are sure that our way of living has its advantages for all." - Alcoholics Anonymous, Foreword To First Edition, xiii
"'Here and there, once in a while, alcoholics have had what are called vital spiritual experiences. To me these occurrences are phenomena. They appear to be in the nature of huge emotional displacements and rearrangements. Ideas, emotions, and attitudes which were once the guiding forces of the lives of these men are suddenly cast to one side, and a completely new set of conceptions and motives begin to dominate them.'" - Alcoholics Anonymous, p.27
The reason we say we're either recovered or not at all is because there is no in-between. There really isn't such a thing as "recovering" or "in recovery", according to AA's own Big Book. We're either recovered or we're completely damaged. We are either insane, still suffering from the mental obsession and therefore subject to relapse at any point in time, or not. There is no grey area.
So why does everybody in AA say, "I'm Joe Schmo, I'm a recovering alcoholic."? More to the point, why do heads turn angrily when I raise my hand and say, "I'm Charlie, I'm a recovered alcoholic."?
God, Thy Will Be Done...