Recently I had the privilege to speak at an OA Retreat. It was a fantastic event that gave back much more to me than I gave to it.
One of the topics I addressed was that willingness is essential if I am to have long-lasting recovery.
Four Types of Willing
In my talk I detailed four types of willing that were and are important to my recovery:
- Willing to admit you have a problem and, more importantly, that you’re powerless to solve it on your own. Most of us are ‘willing’ to admit we have a problem but we’re unable to ‘own’ our lack of power.
- Willing to try the solution offered by the 12 Steps: read the Big Book, go to meetings, get a sponsor, work the steps, do service, etc. – We need to be willing to not only try but to follow the process described in program literature (starting with the Big Book) as rigorously as possible. After all Tom’s 12 (or 1200) Step Program of Recovery has a 0% success rate. I have to set aside my skepticism, unroll my eyes and act as if I believe that all this 12 step voodoo will work for me.
- Willing to keep coming back even in the absence of immediate miracles. We all want the burning bush experience, the Saul on the Road to Damascus life changing in-an-instant cure. My reality is that my disease has a years head start on my recovery and that it may take years for recovery to fully supplant my disease. But no matter which way I look to get out of it the question remains, “What other choice do I have?
- Willing to turn it over to God (whatever/whoever your concept of God is). If you can’t surrender then you will always turn to self-will when the struggles hit and self-will will fail you as it always has. My struggle is this; Surrender. Humility. Trust.
Recently I heard in a meeting that a great question to ask ourselves when we’re in making-mountain-out-of-mole-hill mode is, “How important is it, really?” On my journey, when I experience the inevitable stumbles that accompany recovery I find it useful to simply ask myself, “How willing am I, really?”
Keep coming back, we need you!