Really to me there are two sides to addiction, and one tends to lead to the other. The first is that record-store rush, the plain and simple loving to get high/buzzed. The second is the all-consuming one, when you show up at the 7-11 at 6am when they unlock the beer coolers and skip school or work either to drink or to nurse a hangover; be in financial trouble from drinking, withdrawing socially, leaving work early before the liquor store closed, and during a period of unemployment pawn shit you really shouldn't be pawning (if you'll never get it back you may as well have sold it). "Recovered" to me means freedom from this; of course one leads to the other, as I said, and I can see where they're coming from when they say it.
TBH I have more fear of relapsing on cigarettes because they don't #### up your life as alcohol does and because they're harder to quit. Several times I've thought about buying just a Black and Mild and have had to turn down offers of birthday cigars (the good kind you go to a smoke shop for, not the shitty convenience store kind). I've really had little craving if any for alcohol over the last 6 1/2 years.
Most of all, I had been dealing with this my entire adult life and since I quit everything it's been really nice to have money. Maybe that can keep me going (or at least help).
(I read -- in the Atlantic? -- that a drug has been developed that blocks the body's reinforcement mechanism and lets you drink only one or two drinks. Unfortunately it eliminates the buzz, too, so it's no use except for going out or doing other social drinking. Hoping they can keep making progress.)