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Practicing Willingness Throughout Recovery

Everyone in recovery has heard about the importance of willingness. When you first get clean and sober, you have to trust others and be willing to do whatever it takes. At first, it’s usually difficult to follow the suggestions of others, but as you stayed sober, you probably noticed that your recovery program was stronger.

Being willing to go to 12-step meetings, trust other people in recovery, and take suggestions are the bread and butter of your recovery program. Staying sober only happens one day at a time. Once the fog clears, however, living a life of willingness may become more difficult.

Becoming More Willing

There are probably things you’re told you should do, but you don’t want to do them. In life, everyone pretty much has to go to the DMV. We all have bills to pay and jobs that we do. There are things that we perceive as downright unpleasant, such as having surgery or facing a fear. Being willing doesn’t always mean “doing things joyfully.” It means that you’re ready to do what you have to do.

The first thing you do in recovery is to to stop using and start listening to others. Just staying sober shows that you’re capable of working toward willingness. When a person first begins their recovery journey, they’re told to stay away from old friends and old situations. It can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. When you think you can’t become willing to do something, try to remember all of the other changes you’ve made to get to where you are today.

You may not be willing today, but keep acting as if you are. Take the steps you need to take. The feeling of willingness might follow, or you may have to trudge every step of the way. Either way, you'll get stronger and willingness will come more naturally to you.

If you have a higher power, many people find that praying for willingness makes them feel more willing on a day to day business.

One Day at a Time

Growth only happens one day at a time. No one is perfect. Few people enter into a recovery program eager to delve into their emotions, the things they’ve done wrong, and the problems that they face. But thousands of people stick around anyway, knowing that they want to change and need help doing it.

If you’re going through something and struggling with willingness, remember to take it a day at a time. Do what you need to do. The feelings will follow, and you’ll have a stronger recovery program by sticking it out.

Interested in Sober Living or Aftercare?

Many people decide that after treatment, they want to continue to live with additional supports in place. Whether you’re interested in living in a structured, supportive setting or attending aftercare as you adjust to everyday life, we’re here to help. Call us at 760-216-2077 for more information on our programs.



Read Full Bio
Mark Gladden
CEO / Founder
Mark Gladden is the founder of By The Sea Recovery, a sober living facility located in beautiful San Diego, California. After struggling with addiction, Mark finally found recovery and a new purpose in life, to help others who are battling the same battle he faced.
Customer Testimonials
  • Very Friendly staff and a great living facility

    My brother, we’ll call him James to protect his anonymity, came here after attending their detox and inpatient program. He’s had tremendous success and currently has over six months of sobriety!

    - Jeff Hanson

  • This is not your average sober living.

    My family has been reunited and we share a beautiful relationship today. By the Sea is the cornerstone of my recovery and I am forever grateful for the experience I have had with the people I consider my family.

    - Adam Herald

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    Mark answered a cold call from us when we were confused and desperate trying to help our son. Six months later he is transitioning to living on his own and we are thankful for Mark and the By the Sea community.

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