"The fact is that most alcoholics, for reasons yet obscure, have lost the power of choice in drink. Our so-called will power becomes practically nonexistent. We are unable, at certain times, to bring into our consciousness with sufficient force the memory of the suffering and humiliation of even a week or a month ago. We are without defense against the first drink." page 24 The Anonymous Press Study Edition of Alcoholics Anonymous For many of us the question of our alcoholism remained a deep mystery well into our first year of recovery. Trapped in the notion that someday things might be different, we continued to hope for a different diagnosis, all the while be bombarded with blunt truth about ourselves and our condition. At some point, for me it was near 7 months, we will find ourselves defenseless against the truth, we will either admit we are the real thing or we will leave, the battle cannot wage on forever. Experience has taught me that the quickest way to the truth is by presenting the facts and matching them with your experience in active addiction. Alcoholism is a three part illness which consists of the following: 1. The Spiritual Malady 2. The Physical Allergy 3. The Mental Obsession In this post I will summarize the coming 3 part series where I will shed light on these. Anyone of these can become detrimental to a normal person, but when combined together in the alcoholic these traits become deadly. It is important for an alcoholic to understand the true nature of the illness. Having a firm grasp on these concepts will not only aid in your own sober life, but will prove vital in helping the new comer to find their place amongst us.