By the age of 24 years old, I was willing to do very little to help myself or others. I was put in a place where my self-will was no longer working for me. I had relied on my determination and ambition to succeed without anyone else’s help for a long time, and it had worked up until recently.
I had the unique ability to pull my life together just enough, so others would not notice the magnitude of my addiction. The small amount of focus and drive that I had left was put towards covering up my use and hiding the parts of my life that revealed what was really happening. It was only when things came completely unraveled that I was able to let go of the façade and come to terms with the aspects of my life that I did not want to face.
When I took time to reflect on the years that had led up to my sobriety I realized where my self-will had taken me. It was a slow realization that didn’t happen instantly, but I was no longer able to keep hold of my life while using drugs and alcohol, and I was more or less out of options. It took 8 years, but I saw my life clearly for once. During this time period, I became open to something that wasn’t my own plan.
That started a shift in perspective, which allowed me to see the facts of my life that I had ignored for a long time. These were all the moving parts that pushed me to try something different in life. Sobriety and AA became a design for living that I pursued and was willing to pursue because I no longer had a plan of escape and I was tired of avoiding reality. Working a program was something I was willing to do, because my mind was no longer closed off.
Willingness is what opened my line of vision, and brought new possibilities into my world. Things I would have never considered in the past became a viable option to push me forward in my recovery. I welcomed changes in my lifestyle, and I felt compelled to make an honest effort to become a different person. Even the deep rooted parts of my life, like my moral code and beliefs were subject to change if it meant I could alter my course in life. Willingness was the fuel I needed to make the sometimes difficult alterations to the way I lived and interacted with others.