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Willingness in Sobriety: The Key to Long-Term Success 28 Apr 2017

Willingness in Sobriety: The Key to Long-Term Success

If there’s one thing that I know for certain, it is that when I finally became willing to turn myself over to the program, my entire life changed. When the people in the rooms say that all we need is honesty, open mindedness, and willingness, they aren’t kidding. I personally felt that I actually just needed willingness because that willingness is what lead to open-mindedness, and eventually lead to honesty.

I had a really hard time in the beginning of my sobriety with getting honest and reaching out to others. I always felt like I was a burden, and I didn’t want to bother anyone with my trivial day to day issues. Not surprisingly, I relapsed over and over. I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. I was going to meetings, I was working a job, I was doing steps with a sponsor. But still, I couldn’t stay sober.

Now I have to admit that for that year and a half that I was doing all the steps I was told to do, I was never actually fully committed to the idea that I was truly an alcoholic, and that I had to really be here. After 5 relapses in a year, it hit me that, okay, maybe my way isn’t working. What could I lose by actually giving this program a shot?

Before this day, I had done the things I was told to do, but in reality, I was just going through the motions. I never actually SURRENDERED because I was never really willing to admit that I needed to. I was never willing to fully swallow the truth, I wanted to continue trying to force my will on every action and event in my life.

The truth is, I was never willing to surrender previously because I honestly didn’t know how. I had read the book and “worked” a third step multiple times, but again, I was just going through the motions.

It wasn’t until that last relapse that I was shown that no matter what I did, what combination of chemicals I used or in which way, the end result was always the same. I always ended up at the bottom of a bottle and a bag, feeling empty, and worse off than before I took the first hit/sip/shot etc.

So ultimately, as I look back over the year and a half that I spent denying my addiction to myself, I can now be somewhat grateful for never fully taking to the idea that I needed this program. Who knows, if I hadn’t tried experimenting all those times maybe I would have a few years sober, and secretly believe that I didn’t have a problem, and some day go out and end up dead.

struggle surrender

I see it all the time, and it sucks, and it hurts, and it’s real. I can look back on all of my relapses and know in my heart that while I definitely took my slow and sweet time to get my stuff together, I am 100% sure that to this day, I will never, ever be able to use any mood or mind altering chemical safely.

This realization has been a gift, primarily because I was given the gift of desperation. This desperation lead to the willingness I needed to actively and to wholeheartedly get involved in the program of recovery.

And my life today is nothing like I ever thought it could be. Even three, four years ago, I truly believed and almost welcomed the idea of meeting the undertaker at an early age. I remember the old days, and 750 of whiskey and $300 worth of crack in my body, praying that my heart would explode when I took that next hit, or that my liver would all of a sudden fail and I would just die on the floor. That was the life I used to live.

I promise you that today I am not that person. I don’t even think I would be able to recognize that person if I ran into them on the street today. It’s crazy to think about… just how much we change. The funny thing is that for the most part, we don’t even notice it’s happening. We just keep doing what we are recommended, and trying to do the next right thing… and good thing’s just sort of come.

As long as we stay willing to be better, and do more, and be more, then that is what we become. It just sort of… works. I never wanted to admit it before… or never thought that it would be true. But the willingness to work this program and be sober is usually enough to open the door to the rest of our lives.

I had a hard time with the Higher Power thing too… for a very long time. But again, my gift of desperation led to my willingness to even just believe that the other people who loved me in the fellowship had a Higher Power in their lives that they believed was working for them. That was all I needed at first… and slowly but surely… i started to feel a Higher Power working in my life too.

Listen, if this thing didn’t work for me, I wouldn’t be sitting here typing up a blog about sobriety… I can guarantee you that. But like I said, I am not the person I used to be. All I needed was just  a little bit of honesty, open-mindedness… and of course, just a little bit of willingness. The rest just came.

Freedom From Addiction

If you have found yourself or a loved one suffering from alcoholism or addiction, you are not alone! If you are ready to change your life and live free of addiction, then Holistic Recovery Centers can help. We give you the jump start to recovery you need. Our holistic program is unique in that it doesn’t just treat the addiction, it treats the whole person. For more information on our program, call 1-877-723-7117 today.