I know that the Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous,  written in the late 1930’s has a rather bleak perspective on willpower and probably for excellent reasons.  But “willpower” in unison with courage, strength, smarts, work and hope, is another matter all together.

I happen to be a big believer in Willpower as I know it’s essential in all aspects of daily life. It is defined by Merriam Webster  as ” the ability to control yourself; strong determination that allows you to do something difficult.”

We all face many different difficulties daily and that doesn’t deter us  We press on.

Recovery from drug or alcoholism addiction is the same. In my humble opinion recovery is 99. 9%  physical, mental, emotional and spiritual willpower.  Yes, at time perhaps, and for some very few individuals, 0.01% emanates from a Higher Power.

Disagree if you like.

But we mortals all have to do  the essential  work. I don’t see recovery as a miracle or as a spontaneous remission.  This is what makes it so damn difficult.

No one can just sit back and let “recovery occur.” It doesn’t happen that way. And yes, it takes time. It cannot be rushed and we must allow ourselves to heal the old fashion way, one-day-at-a-time.


For now,


Bill McInerney







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