OK...will power vs addiction equals no chance in hell, at least for this guy. And that really is the truth of it. I had an incredible amount of will power in every area of my life except when it came to my alcoholism/addiction. The American Medical association labeled Alcoholism officially a disease some time in the 1950's.
People often scoff at that and say it's an excuse...that's cool. They don't have to deal with MY alcoholism...I do. And approaching this alcoholism/addiction as a terminal illness that can't be cured, only kept in remission by total abstinence is what saves my life, each and every day. I'll take it!
My life is not only better in the obvious areas of not being in trouble say for drunk driving or like me being so down that suicide seemed to be the ONLY way out. But I just have a way of living, a spiritual life that is really fulfilling. I enjoy working with others and sharing my experience, strength and hope with the new guy, who still seems so lost and confused. It wasn't all that long ago that I felt the very same way....
I am still amazed what a little peace and serenity as a constant in a person's life will do to their outlook and personality. I care so much more about others...I used to think I did but honestly, I was always looking out for ME first. And often at the expense of anyone else.
I don't like living like that today, it just doesn't seem right. I believe deep down I felt that way back then too but my need to feed my addiction overwhelmed everything else. Even my desire to be a good person or a good friend. Tragic really and I pushed a lot of people away and destroyed some good relationships in the process.
The funny thing is though that I can revert right back to that selfish, self-centered behavior without ever taking a drink. That is why I am always talking about living according to certain spiritual principals of honesty, openness, service to others, etc...they are the things that keep me balanced and working at those things help keep me sober day to day as well.
It is a difficult process to explain to others and it is best learned over time. I was open minded about it only because I was beaten into submission by my disease. That is how most Alcoholics/Addicts get to the point where they will accept they have a problem then try and do something about it.
But that is just the beginning...willingness doesn't guarantee sobriety. Nope, it just means you have a chance, a lot of folks fail to stay sober though they've know for a long time that they are alcoholic. They just aren't capable of doing the necessary things they need to do EVERY day to stay sober.
And I've said this before the defeat, the getting our a**es kicked is necessary to get the addict willing and the Victory that I referred to over my addiction is a one day victory because we only get today. Tomorrow it all begins again. It truly is a day at a time thing for us addicts and alcoholics. I initially didn't understand that, thought it was weird but today I can see it quite clearly. That's all we get, a one day reprieve from our addiction.
The juices seem to be flowing on this subject the last two days so I'll leave more for later. But in closing I know in my heart that I tried to WILL myself to sobriety, I would have died before it happened. This is the only way I found life again. Does it work this way for everyone? I really don't know but I do know a hell of a lot of people that have found their daily reprieve this very same way...