By: Marilyn L. Davis
Okay, I Want to Want to Change
When you realize that there is a problem or you do not like a certain thing, you often have the desire to change something. It can also mean that you no longer deny that a problem exists, and you are willing to do something differently, whether it’s an action, an attitude, or you start thinking and feeling differently about a particular situation.
But, if you find yourself in the cycle of only identifying the problem and complaining about it or commenting on it, ask yourself if you truly have both the desire to change something and are willing to make the effort to change the problem.
Merely complaining or commenting on a problem can create a lot of frustration, tension, and guilt. It can also set you up for disappointment from others when they attempt to help with a solution, and you reject it by not following through with it.
If, on the other hand, you decide that you do want to change, there can still be some obstacles. For instance, you see a problem and know that something must change, but are unable to think of a solution to correct it. Alternatively, you know the solution but are unsure how to put it into action.
What Do You Need for Change to Occur?
- Acknowledge that a problem exists or there is something that you would like to change
- Truly want to correct the problem and be willing to put effort into the solution
- Know how to change or modify the problem for the better or be prepared to ask knowledgeable people how to change it
- Identify what actions or attitudes are necessary to accomplish the change
- Determine any obstacles or hindrances to change to see if you need additional help or guidance
What Keeps People Stuck?
Many people stay stuck in the “desire to change” phase of recovery for several reasons. Some of the predictable ones are:
- You want to change, but do not know how to change.
- The changes don’t seem rewarding enough to do the work required.
- You think if you say you want to change, that should be enough.
- People may expect more changes from you if you start changing.
- You think that your changes will never be good enough for some people in your life.
Changing is about problem-solving. Take any problem, break it up into its parts, and see if it does not become less fearful and more readily accomplished. If you do not know how to change something, but genuinely want to change, ask others how they achieved a particular change.
Who Are Your Resources for Help in Changing?
- Sponsors/accountability partners
- People in recovery supportive meetings
- Social Media Pages Dedicated to Recovery
Looking at the list, you see that you do have a lot of resources to ask. Not all of them will have a specific solution for your particular change; they may not have had to change that aspect of themselves, or they may not think they know enough to help anyone else.
Regardless, you know that you would ask multiple people for solutions if it involved your use, so you have to be just as diligent in asking for help with the change.
Overcome the Fears and Make Those Desired Changes
Change can produce fear but reflect on your life before recovery, and you realize that fear was present there as well, but you overcame it to accomplish something. For most of us, we overcame our fears of cops, reprimands by families or employers, and got our dope. For some of you, it is the fear of the unknown, fear of success or failure, or fear that the “changed you” will not be as interesting as the old you.
To quiet your fears, you can safely expect that if you do what other people have done in solving a similar problem that you will receive similar results when you make the same changes or take the same actions that they did.
If we truly want to change, the process of change works life situations that we don’t like, and certainly for our recovery.
Writing and recovery heals the heart.