Recovered or Recovering?

Yesterday our leader shared from the Dr's Opinion that alcoholics must undergo an "essential" psychic change or else we will probably drink again. I remembered the quote as an "entire" psychic change. So I grabbed a  Big Book and checked it out. To my surprise, I found that both "essential" and "entire" were used to describe psychic change. They are only words, but their meanings have more significance for me then the words "recovered" and "recovering".

I experienced an essential psychic change when my thinking shifted just enough for the obsession to drink to be removed. I usually refer to this experience as a spiritual awakening. I have not yet experienced an "entire psychic change". In my mind this means a complete emptying out of all
beliefs. Not only all of my so-called bad ideas, but all the good ones too. Eastern religions describe this state of complete emptiness as enlightenment. I believe that until I experience an entire psychic change, there's always a chance I will drink again. Perhaps this is why the long term recovery rate in our program is so low. I understand only a very few humans achieve enlightenment. I hope I never forget that recovery is a life long, never-ending process. There is no finish line.

A while back a member shared a metaphor that helps me realize the difference between recovered and recovering. He said, "you can recover from a gunshot wound, but that does not make you immune to bullets." I have recovered from a hopeless state of mind and body but I could always go back there if I let up on my program of action.