When I was new to AA, I heard, as most of us do, that alcoholism is a progressive disease that over time always gets worse, never better. That to me is a mark of alcoholism, although some people may progress very slowly.
My progression was like lightening, and from the first drink I was a goner. Within six years of my first drink I was unable to function.
When I got sober, they said that the disease progresses even when we don’t drink. Nowadays I hear the expression that my disease is “doing push ups,” getting stronger while I don’t drink. I imagine mine would have the strength of an earthquake by now.
That doesn’t sound scientific to me at all, more like folklore. AA has taught me that all I can share is my experience and this is it. When I picked up after 18 months I hoped I could start again at the beginning. Or somewhere in the direction of the beginning. And I could not. For me, within days I was worse than I had ever been. What they told me was true in my case. I’m lucky I survived the experiment.