Recovering from addiction is no easy feat. From the moment you decide to stop taking substances your body is already rebelling against you. Mentally you are exhausted, feeling lost and hopeless. This is the time when reaching out for help is your greatest strength. Trying to get sober by yourself is not easy nor recommended. Doing so may put your mental and physical health at risk. Alcoholics Anonymous has described their program as a spiritual journey in recovery utilizing three key spiritual principles. “We find that no one need have difficulty with the spirituality of the program. Willingness, honesty and open mindedness are the essentials of recovery. But these are indispensable.” (Appendix II, “Spiritual Experience”, Alcoholics Anonymous, page 567-568)
The foundation of recovery begins with honesty, openness and willingness (H.O.W.) these three principles will help you to answer the question “HOW do I get sober?”
In the beginning it is important to be honest with yourself. During active addiction you may find you have abandoned the truth. Often, people make excuses and minimize use to themselves and others. Self-awareness and reflection of the negative impacts substances have had on your life is key for honesty.
In the beginning, being honest with yourself is the primary requirement. Once you have become honest you will find it easier to open yourself up to the possibility of acceptance and healing in recovery.
You have discovered through honesty that your old way of doing things is no longer serving you. This is when openness is fundamental in your recovery journey. You are learning new techniques and making changes.
Being open-minded requires you to be very vigilant in your thoughts. If you are close minded you may not even attempt to try something new. Change is not easy, however being open to new possibilities will instill hope and encouragement.
Substance use has most likely caused you a lot of pain, feelings of hopelessness, loss, shame and guilt. Perhaps you are exhausted from living your life feeling chained to substances. It is imperative you are willing to make the necessary changes to live a lifestyle free of substances.
This is the most important principle: a willingness to truly allow yourself to be honest, open and willing to allow growth and change through recovery.