The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous tells us that “willingness, open-mindedness, and honesty are the essentials of recovery.” The acronym HOW is so widely used that there is even a Facebook page devoted to these principles. They are repeated over and over again in treatment, 12 step meetings, and normal conversations with those in recovery. The simple reason that we put so much emphasis on these principles is that they really are the basis for a solid recovery and without these basics there is little chance of self-improvement, let alone recovery from the throes of alcohol and drug addiction.
Hopefully by the time treatment is considered clients are at least willing to try some of the ideas that are placed in front of them. However, it is no easy task to move from living a life full of dishonesty to a life of honesty nor is it easy to become open-minded to the steps required to change our lives, even with the realization of how powerless we have become. A good treatment center, recovery residence, or sponsor can make all the difference in this transition, but it is up to the individual to be willing, honest and open-minded and to use these principles daily. The exciting life that waits is worth the work!