This is the third of a three-part article on honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness. Learn about effective ways to communicate with your support system, including peers in recovery, supportive family members, 12-step sponsor, life mentors, spiritual leader, or recovery coach.
When someone is in active addiction, there is very little healthy communication. There is, however, a lot of unhealthy communication—which includes lying, manipulating, refusing to listen—basically doing the same destructive things over and over again.
Healthy communication means being honest, being open to hearing someone else’s point of view, and being willing to change bad habits in order to improve your relationships. H.O.W. communication skills strengthen your recovery.
Hopefully, by now you’ve worked on opening your eyes with honesty and opening your ears by listening to others with an open mind. It’s time to discuss the third piece of the puzzle, which is having the willingness to put your feet on the path of action. Try these steps to becoming more willing:
Willingness means doing something out of choice, not because you were forced to do it. It means your mind is more receptive and that you are embracing change intentionally and with courage.
Consider making a to-do list items to enhance willingness:
Here’s a personal success story:
When Talia first got sober, she claimed that her addiction had only affected her personal relationships. She lost custody of her daughter, but she didn’t lose her job. But at two months sober, she heard someone say in a meeting that he was passed over for a promotion because he missed work due to being hungover. At that moment, Talia realized that her addiction really had hurt her career. She had training as an X-ray tech but she’d only taken jobs as a restaurant server because no one cared if she called in “sick”—or didn’t call in at all. That night, she wrote in her journal that she’d been lying to herself all this time about how badly her addiction had messed up her professional life. She got back on track with her career and was able to regain custody because she had gotten honest, open-minded, and willing.
Read more CeDAR Education Articles about Peer Support including H.O.W Communication – Honesty.