The literature of AA talks about the "hideous four horseman, terror, bewilderment, frustration, and despair. As people that are in recovery we know these feelings all too well. In our minds, while using and drinking, the only way to make these feelings go away was to have another hit or drink. It temporarily solved our problems of our minds. The problem is that "the problems" only got worse for us.
Many people speak of the moment of clarity they had. They came to the realization that another hit or drink was only driving them deeper into the horrible feelings. We then realize that there is a permanent solution so long as we do some daily work. We find powers that are greater than us to help us find that solution.