As an addict, the disease concept has become important to my recovery. I must understand my addiction is progressive. In other words, it increases in severity, whether I’m using or not. I must also understand that’s it’s a mental disease, I have it, and I always will. This was a fact about myself I resisted for a long time, that there’s something about me that’s different from most people. So if it’s a disease, what’s the treatment? For me personally, it comes down to one word: peace. Long-term sobriety is impossible without it. And while peace may seem like an external quality, it’s actually an internal thing. Peace is a word I didn’t understand until I experienced it, an contentment with myself and my circumstances at the present moment. And I achieved it by not engaging in negative behavior, distancing myself from negative people, and most important, trying to not affect others negatively. I’m not always successful at it. I fact, I fail frequently. But the longer I strive for this ideal, the more happiness I have. The only peace I knew was with alcohol and drugs. Recovery has shown me a new peace, one that is real and more substantial.