For those of us who have struggled with addiction, we’re all keenly aware of the prescribed first step in order to begin the journey of self-discovery, growth, and liberation; as outlined in the Big Book of A.A. the first step is acceptance. I’m going to challenge that. The precursor to success if most, if not all, facets of recovery is willingness. As an addict, I’ll speak for myself and admit without hesitation that willingness, back then, was a concept as alien to me as the appeal of fidget spinners is today; and if you’re a fan of fidget spinners, well, sorry I’m not sorry. The point is, I wore my reluctance and resistance as a badge of pride and honor. I couldn’t grasp why these terms were deemed as disparaging. To this day I’m not totally able to elude my propensity to showcase an heir of arrogance and stubbornness. I am today, however, capable of taking pause and applying the willingness to acknowledge, identify, and make necessary changes to whatever “character defects” are impeding the evolution of my personal growth and maturation.
Willingness is the word of the week here at South Orange County Detox and Treatment, and the reason I feel it’s important to see this attitude as pivotal in those first steps we take towards sobriety is that without it there is no such thing as right action. If we’re not willing to be willing, we’re going to drown before we can ever hope to swim to the shores of serenity and sobriety.
In order to really engage in our recovery, we need to be courageous and in order to be courageous we need to be willing; willing to admit we have a problem, to seek out guidance and help from others, to embrace a certain lack of comfortability and familiarity, and the willingness to ultimately make the changes to aspects of ourselves and our lives that are changeable. I am blessed today to struggle with a different, and less taxing test of will because once I became willing to wrestle with the demons of addiction head on, I realized that this willingness was a weapon to wield and not a burden to bear. The true mark of the wise is the willingness to throw away comfortable thoughts and behaviors to make room for something foreign yet ultimately fulfilling, as terrifying as that may be. A couple weeks ago we talked about courage and at the risk of sounding redundant Ill maintain brevity with this closing thought. It’s not coincidental that these two words have appeared in the first month of our word of the week series here. They are both integral at all stages of sobriety but extremely relevant in the context of what we do here at South Orange County Detox & Treatment. We understand how frightening it can be to take the first step to better your life and we will be here for you during that process. We cannot, however, give you the willingness that’s necessary to begin this journey. So if you’re struggling, remember that courage is simply the WILLINGNESS to be completely terrified, walk right through, and to take action anyway.