Why Do Some Addicts and Alcoholics Achieve Sobriety?

Why Do Some Addicts and Alcoholics Achieve Sobriety?

We have a saying in 12 Step Programs that states, “Some are sicker than others”.  I have another observation that supposes, “Some are more willing than others”.

We can study the disease process and offer the very best treatment with top professionals but if the patient is unwilling to surrender and seek help, the mental and emotional denial masks all basic logic or common sense.

What do I mean by “surrender”? It is that moment in time when reality overrides compulsion and craving and the individual admits defeat, or rather, accepts the truth that it is a verifiable fact that the disease will progress to incarceration, insanity or death.

Having experienced that moment of truth, I confess that it was as if time stopped and for that instant I was faced with an option to choose wellness or the alternative. We can allude to my receiving a “spiritual awakening” or perhaps an insightful vision of two life paths. But what was so different about that particular space in time? I wasn’t sick or experiencing any particular consequences of my drug use, so why the sudden change of heart?

I was exposed to the joyful sounds of recovery. I was an earshot away from sober alcoholics laughing in my living room and I desperately wanted what they had. I became willing to do whatever necessary to achieve that blissful state. I didn’t care about the pain of detox or the uncertainty of my tomorrows because I just knew that if I could surrender and ask for help the war would be over and I would be free.


What does surrender and willingness mean to you?


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