Alison's Insights

Making Sense of Addiction Recovery in Midlife One Slow Deep Breath at a Time

I Wasn’t Ready but I Was Willing

When in the absolute worst stage of my drinking and unhealthy eating habits very little, if anything, could have led me any sooner to recovery.

There were never-ending efforts by those who love me to get help.  They were truly terrified to one day receive a phone call alerting I had succumbed to the disease of addiction.

The more they tried to talk sense into me, the more my resistance.  I wasn’t ready to stop.  I liked being able to decide for myself when, how much and where I’d drink, eat or not eat.  I felt safe knowing when I needed to, I could escape into the haze of too much alcohol or too little food. When I was in that state I didn’t have to deal with life’s emotional ups and downs.  I lived for that control.  I needed that control.  And oh boy, did I love the “high” I felt knowing I got away with all the associated manipulations and lies.

Even when I walked through the doors where I sought treatment I still wasn’t ready to stop drinking and controlling my food intake.  I actually make a silent deal with myself that if I wanted to, when I eventually got home I could go back to those unhealthy behaviors.  I told myself I’d be completely justified saying I tried but the efforts from treatment didn’t work.

Yet when I got home I never took myself up on that deal.  I may have wanted to drink but I didn’t.  I may have wanted to skip a meal but I didn’t.  I may have wanted to be deceptive and manipulative but I couldn’t.

The reason?  Simple.  Even though I thoroughly believed I wasn’t ready to stop drinking and depriving myself of proper nutrition, when I took that first step into treatment I was silently saying I was willing to make an attempt.

This is one of the most profound elements of healthy recovery.  If I waited until I was ready I might not be here typing this.  What was needed for me to change was a willingness to try.  From that small yet powerful place I’m alive today.

So often I hear from women who say they can’t get sober or overcome their eating disorder because they aren’t ready.  I tell them I felt the same way at the beginning; that I didn’t want to stop drinking or controlling my food but I was willing to do something to change.

This is precisely what recovery means.  There needs to be a change.  Even though I wasn’t ready, I was willing to do something different about how I was living my life.  The rest fell into place simply because of that tiny spec of willingness I never even knew I had.

Countless people have guided me along the pathway of change; many of whom don’t even know they have.  Some taught be how and some taught me why.  And many more will continue to do both.


Does this resonate with you?  Are you struggling to make a change in your life yet question whether or not you’re ready?   Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment in the reply box below.   

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4 thoughts on “I Wasn’t Ready but I Was Willing

  1. Your blog is aptly named. I always gain insight into the recovery process from the words that you share.

    • Cyndy, I am touched the words I shared in this post as well as others you’ve read on this site have somehow resonated with you. There is a special connection when two “like-minded” people truly understand each other. This has proven comforting to me each day I make the decision to stay on a healthy track.

  2. Alison, thankyou for your honesty and clarity. From one mid-life recover to another, your blogs have filled me with peace and motivation to keep going and keep giving back by sharing my story with others. Your right to say we may never feel ready, but our willingness can certainly go a long way! God bless, Anna Marie x

  3. sandrajoy on said:

    Hi i to have a drinking problem and a eating disorder .is there a a.b.a in melborne

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