I see a lot of people who need recovery. I used to be one of those people. My life was a chaotic mess, I was drinking and using to escape everything and everyone, most of all myself.

The consequences were getting out of control, physically I was a mess, and on the inside It felt like nothing was there, like I had no soul.

That’s all changed now, but only after a few years of working a recovery programme. In my time, I’ve seen many people like myself who desperately needed recovery in their lives, but (and this is only my own personal experience here) I feel you really have to fucking want it, for it to work.

12 step recovery is all about putting in the work. “Programme of action” as my first sponsor would always say. I used to hate it when he would say that to me. Now with sponsees of my own, having set up some local meetings and having seen many fellows fall back into old patterns of alcoholism and addiction, there’s nothing I feel more strongly about. Simply needing recovery is not enough.

12 Step recovery can be daunting at first, I’ve written about my early experiences here on the blog, but taken slowly, small steps in the right direction can have a huge impact. I see a lot of people who want all of the great stuff recovery can bring, things I now have and have experienced for myself.

I have a huge life today. I have a life where I have real and genuine connection to both myself and the world around me, I have deep and meaningful friendships, a sense of who I am, ever building self-esteem. My relationship with my family has rebuilt itself, I am happy (most days), confident and genuinely love the person who looks back at me each time I look into the mirror. All of this on top of not having a desire to drink or use, which in itself a miracle.

All of that has only been possible by really putting in some hard work. In the early days it was going to (a lot) of meetings. Then came getting a sponsor and working through the twelve steps. This involved some hard work, looking at my old thinking and behaviour patterns, addressing some harsh truths and challenging my old perspectives. Then comes work each day to embrace new values and principles. Working through challenging things which life throws up and constantly and trying to grow my spiritual life alongside helping others.

It’s not easy, and it’s probably why so many people fail.

People want of all of the brilliant things recovery can bring, but are either not ready or not willing to do the work to get them. It’s easier for some people to drink and use and be in the pain and misery of addiction than to face themselves and do the work.

It’s only when you are truly ready and desperately want recovery, and are willing to go to any lengths to get it that all the good stuff comes. Trust me it’s well worth it.