Willingness is kind of a funny thing. It seems that people don’t really understand the concept, especially when it comes to getting sober or making any huge change in your life. It isn’t enough to just say ‘ I have to change’, or ‘ I wish I could change’. You have to actually do the necessary things to make it happen. If you want to get sober and make changes in your life then you are the one responsible for making it happen.
The greatest piece of advice I could give someone about getting sober is, be committed to it. It is not enough to just want it to happen, it is not enough to just think about it, maybe you’ve done some research online or maybe you picked up a book or two at the bookstore. The bottom line is, you have to work for it. For me, I spent hours in bars, everyday. I spent hours drinking everyday. When I stopped drinking, all of a sudden I had all of these hours, with nothing to do. This is where the committment part comes in. I had to fill those hours with things to help me get healthy. I couldn’t sit around the house and pout because I couldn’t drink anymore, feel sorry for myself, lost and confused without tequila. That’s how people relapse. I had to be willing to do things to stay sober. I had to be willing to go to meetings, I had to be willing to make new friends, I had to be willing to go outside my comfort zone, EVERYDAY!! I met some sober people that had many years of sobriety and I did the things they told me to do. No matter what. Even if I thought it was stupid, or if I was tired, or if it was just uncomfortable…. I still did it. All of it. Being willing isn’t just about being committed to not drinking, it’s about being willing to be committed to my life. It is a new way of life and a new way of living life.
For me, to drink is to die. Maybe I wouldn’t die from the first drink or even the tenth. But alcohol kills me from the inside out. It takes away my self-confidence, my honesty and integrity. It takes away my ability to be responsible, dependable, kind and patient. I would lose my career, my education, the people I love, and the prospect of a future that is unstoppable. What kind of life is that?
When I feel like crap I have to be willing to do something to not feel like crap anymore. If I feel like drinking I have to be willing to talk to someone about it, if I am lonely I have to be willing to reach out to someone for comfort. The bottom line is, I have to be willing to do the work, willing to shut up and listen, and willing to learn.