Cole says it well: "If we are hell-bent on winning the fight against our addiction, we have already lost. The disease wins 100 percent of the time with this method....The uncanny reason why we lose each and every time is that the disease uses our own strengths to conquer us. We are fighting ourselves with the best parts of ourselves."

Whether they use this language or not, recovering alcoholics know about death and resurrection. Hitting bottom, finally admitting total defeat — this is the death of the old life. It is frightening but enormously promising for the new life yet to come. And, whatever words they give to it, most recovering people convey the sense that their new life feels much more like resurrection than immortality of the soul. "I was dead, and now I'm alive again!" They know that a whole person disease calls for more than Band-Aids. It calls for a transformation so fundamental that words like "resurrection" and "new birth" seem utterly right.

James B. Nelson, Thirst: God and the Alcoholic Experience