RECOVERY: WILLING or READY

IMG_0387Dr. MacAfee told me, There is a difference between willingness to change and readiness to change. Many times an individual has a moment of clarity when he becomes willing to see his situation, reaches out for help, or even stops using for a while. However, willingness doesn’t mean he is ready to stop using. Moving from willingness to readiness happens when the consequences of using become more painful than the use. This begins the crises. The decision to stop using is in the addict’s hands.

My reflection: The difference between being willing and ready is clear to me, especially when I reflect on Jeff’s words that he wrote eight years ago, I was done using and I knew it. Even my bones knew it. My obsession to use with control and temperance had disappeared. I saw where things were going and knew that if I didn’t stop, I was inches away from another devastating run. I’d been in the same space countless times before and chose differently – this scenario was familiar and it always ended badly. Before getting out of bed, I called a friend from treatment who was still sober and active in the program. I explained my situation and he understood. Things changed that day. 

Today’s Promise to consider: I understand that recovery is a painstaking process, a time of transformation when our loved one shifts from the person he was and becomes the person he wants to be. When the consequences of his addiction have worn him truly thin, he follows his road home. It is a deeply personal revelation that only he can navigate.

 

2414
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

10 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
karen alberini
7 years ago

i am a true believer in you are as sick as your secrets. my 30 year old daughter has relapsed after2 yr on suboxone. just had her 13 month old daughter taken away for a domestic violence issue. this has cost her greatly. she did something wrecklace that is still being investigated. it is eating away at her conscience and mine. the words ring loud in my head THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE. it is quite frightening. it is a world of insanity. i am a devout Catholic and have taught my children values and how precious life is. i love them unconditionally as does God. i don”t know if she will come out of the darkness and face the consequenses. i want to help her find the light. she is willing but I don’t know if she is ready. she just got tested for HIV. she is in no hurry to find out the results. any advice. thankyou

Nicky A
Nicky A
7 years ago

As I read your blog every Thursday, I thirst for the knowledge to understand my loved ones addiction. After 8 months of not using my loved one relapsed a month ago. He reached out for help and is signing himself in to inpatient as we speak. I can only hope that this time is different, that his willingness also correlates to readiness. For now , I will let go and let God, and remember that my loved ones Higher Power loves him more than I ever could. I will trust in the process , just for today. Godspeed all seeking recovery and those who love them.

Barbara
Barbara
7 years ago

Dear Karen,

I’m so sorry to hear that your daughter has relapsed. I’ve been in your shoes with my son, and it’s an ugly place to be. My heart bleeds for you. I know how you feel inside. The guilt is so very hard to overcome. I know your daughter’s conscience is bothering her, but I must ask why is yours bothering you? As parents of addicted children, we think we can fix everything and most of all, we feel that we somehow have failed them and feel responsible for their actions. It’s so very difficult to crawl out of that chaos. As Libby always says “stay close, but away from the chaos”. It’s good advice, but hard to not be engaged in every detail.

I wish you well. I will pray a rosary (I am Catholic also) for your daughter, so that she can face her consequences, and get back on her suboxone therapy and get her child back.

Good luck and God Bless you.

Barbara
Barbara
7 years ago

Dear Nicky,

I’m sorry your son relapsed after a great start of sobriety for 8 months. 8 months is huge for an addict.

Relapse is a part of addiction. I know it’s difficult to understand everything about it, I still struggle with trying to understand it myself. It’s been 5 years since my son overdosed and died from a heroin injection into his vein. I have spent the past 5 years, reading and trying to understand this horrible disease.

I pray that your son will stay in the in-patient program for as long as he possibly can. I pray that he learns how to cope without feeling the need to do drugs.
He signed himself in for help with his addiction. This is huge. I hope and pray he has the readiness he needs. I will pray for your son’s recovery.

You love your son as much as his higher power loves him. A Mother’s love can be very powerful.

As Libby always says “we shall bombard the heavens with prayer for you and your addicted loved one”.

God Bless you

Jane
Jane
7 years ago

Dear Nicky and Karen
I feel the pain you both share. Yes I have been there too, ans still am 10 years later. My son has not had a long period of sobriety, and never full recovery the way most of us would define it. His consequences have been high, and sometimes I fear he may never dig himself out. All that being said, I know the answers must come from him. We raised him with a loving family, good values and structure. He was given lots of opportunities to turn it around. We continue to support his therapy with a very dedicated knowledgeable therapist. I pray he can help him get truthful with himself and ready enough for change.
I try to stay close but out of the way. My h struggles with that piece causing friction between us when we disagree. We are also in counseling. It is a family disease that all of us struggle with. Support group, professional help, self care, educating myself and working MY 12 step program is the recipe I use. I know I did not cause it, cannot cure or control it, and acceptance took a long time with the help of support. With all that said, this is still hard stuff, painful, and draining. My thoughts are with all of us living with this disease.
Love to you Barbara for all of your wisdom and love shared here

Jane
Jane
7 years ago

The willingness and readiness applies to us too. Are we willing and ready to change ourselves, change our reaction to the addict, change our ways? Are we ready to recover from our illness? I wasn’t ready until the pain got so great for me too.

Barbara
Barbara
7 years ago

Dear Jane,

I hope Karen and Nicky read and re-read your postings.
They are FULL of wisdom and excellent advice.

The one thing that resonated with me as I read your post, was the fact that you and your husband have friction regarding decisions, etc., when it comes to your son. My husband and I came very close to a divorce and even separated once because of disagreements about my son.

Addiction is TRULY a family disease. There are no definitive answers to the problem, because all the answers are with the addict. The addict has the problem, so he must solve it, himself/herself.

The support we give to each other is very powerful. It strengthens our spirits, and lets us know that we are not alone.

All my love to you, Jane.

Barbara

Sue
Sue
7 years ago

I have spent the last week on and off facebook wanting so badly to reach out to people my daughter has as friends and ask where she is. Every time I start to post a message to them I delete it. I do this for a couple of reasons, first I’m afraid of the response I will get. If she is not well I have to live with that, if it is not what I secretly hope for I have to live with that too. Will I open the flood gates for all the chaos to begin again and can I handle it anymore? Ignorance to a certain extent is bliss.

I also realize that she and she alone needs to make the change in her life but although I know this it is so hard to do. You say Libby that the difference between being reading and willing is clear to you and it is something that I understand too. Through all the relapses and disappointments I have come to recognize that only when they are ready will they succeed.

Stepping aside to allow the addict the time to come to this realization has been the hardest thing yet. There are times when I think I’m OK with this and other times I’m glued to the computer searching for her. I question what is the right action all the time even though deep down inside I know the answer to that.

I pray for all those afflicted by this disease.

Sue

Jane
Jane
7 years ago

Dear Sue
I feel your struggle, and have had that struggle too. Sometimes ignorance of what is happening in their lives can be a helpful shield. It is a double edged sword. Getting out of the way is harder for some than others. I see my h struggle with it more than I do, and I think the reason is that he does not have 12 step support and foundation. Support is crucial
When there seems to be no path, prayer is the path…..said by my sponsor