Are You Willing???
Your candidate may give reasons why he need not follow all of the program. He may rebel at the thought of a drastic housecleaning which requires discussion with other people. Do not contradict such views. Tell him you once felt as he does, but you doubt whether you would have made much progress had you not taken action. (Alcoholics Anonymous pg. 94)
This is not just a possibility in is a probability. Most newcomers have some problem with some part of the program. Drastic housecleaning is something many never do. Those are the people who go to meetings and share etc. but never really do any recovery work or the they just leave (unless court ordered).
This is not cause for a person more advanced in recovery, a friend, or loved one to freak out, it is normal. If you are this person who has a problem with some part of the program however, you are at a huge crossroads. It’s an all or nothing proposition. You don’t have to accept all of it this minute, but you will have to accept it all in time.
The truth is either a person is willing to do whatever it takes to get recovery or not.
Remember it was agreed at the beginning we would go to any lengths for victory over alcohol. (Alcoholics Anonymous pg. 76)
It’s not really important if you understand everything yet or totally agree with each aspect, the question is: “How serious are you about recovery?” In other words; “are you serious enough to do a few things you don’t yet understand or agree with?”
For those who are the friends and families of the addict or alcoholic in question, you have an important role in this also. At the time the book was written it was you who found out if the person was that serious before even being introduced to recovery.
Then let his family or a friend ask him if he wants to quit for good and if he would go to any extreme to do so. If he says yes, then his attention should be drawn to you as a person who has recovered. You should be described to him as one of a fellowship who, as part of their own recovery, try to help others and who will be glad to talk to him if he cares to see you. (Alcoholics Anonymous pg. 90)
If you are the person, just think of doubt, discomfort and fear as part of the recovery process. These feelings are some of the obstacles that must be overcome. Think of what the authors were trying to do:
To show other alcoholics PRECISELY HOW WE HAVE RECOVERED is the main purpose of this book. (Alcoholics Anonymous – Foreword to First Edition)
You are trapped somewhere you do not know how to escape from and someone has given you a precise map of escape to follow. It really doesn’t make sense to only follow the parts you like and ignore other important details of the map or to throw out the map and go it alone. The escape map is precisely made so it can be precisely followed.
The idea of us as addicts or alcoholics only doing what we are comfortable with and calling it recovery is thoroughly ridiculous. Just the abstinence required to work recovery is uncomfortable as a starting point. If we only did what we felt comfortable with; WE WOULD NEVER STOP USING BECAUSE IN OUR MINDS IT IS MORE COMFORTBLE.
If you are ready, just follow the detailed map in detail or don’t be surprised if you get lost. You can do this, but just keep the short phrase; “ALL OR NOTHING” in the back of your mind.
Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. (Alcoholics Anonymous pg. 58)
ARE YOU WILLING???