Willingness is the key to working a successful recovery program. When food addicts come into our programs some are willing to do anything to get into recovery while others wonder how they can become willing to work through the activities that will result in long-term recovery.
Though there is no one place where someone can go to pick up a jar of willingness, there are a few ways a food addict develops willingness. The most common way is to get to a point of feeling so much pain that the food addict is willing to do anything to stop feeling the intense pain that is now part of their life. This is known as hitting a bottom.
When a food addict hits a bottom, it’s literally that – the bottom of the pain they can tolerate. The pain has become unbearable and the food addict has hit the bottom of the container of pain that is possible for them to experience.
For some food addicts, hearing about this intense pain and knowing that they are headed in that direction, helps them to develop willingness as a means of avoiding future pain. In other words, these food addicts become willing to get into recovery so that they don’t have to hit bottom and experience intense pain.
Another way, a food addict becomes willing is to meditate on the idea of what willingness looks like in their lives. If this person were willing, what would they do? How would they act? What steps would they take that they are not willing to right now? Putting our focus on something, oftentimes brings that into our lives.
This doesn’t mean that we can simply demand willingness to appear and it will. Sometimes focusing on willingness may take days, months, or even years.
We’ve heard of several food addicts who were unwilling to enter a recovery program for over ten years then woke up one day willing to do anything to bring recovery into their lives.
We are all different and willingness comes to each of us in our own unique way. The best thing we can do is to remember just how important willingness is to our recovery program.