Acceptance. Some embrace it while others run like hell in the opposite direction.

Acceptance is needed, even for those that aren’t in recovery. Moments of acceptance are found when we have clarity. Acceptance is found when our senses aren’t sedated. How many of us use whatever we can do dull our ability to feel?

The challenge is we can’t select what we are sedating. We may think we are only dulling our ability to feel gut-wrenching pain but in reality, we are also sedating our ability to feel joy and happiness too. If we don’t feel any emotions to our very core, we miss out on truly living life. We also risk missing out on the lessons that life is trying to teach us.

Pain and joy both teach, mold and transform us into someone else. Someone better. Someone new. Someone that has evolved.

In order to be a functioning human being, I had to embrace acceptance. It was the answer to all my problems. In order to have a fulfilling recovery, I had to accept that I am an alcoholic. I didn’t have to submit – I had to acknowledge. Once I acknowledged, I had to decide what I was going to do about it. Even though I have 9 ½ years sober, acceptance is a daily practice. It has to be. It’s part of what keeps me sober.

Every single day I acknowledge that my drinking was an external manifestation of an internal imbalance, a spiritual malady if you will. Over time, the need became biological. Now, the craving is but a memory. Not the type of memory that you put in a scrapbook or a diary… thinking that maybe… someday… you will look back and reflect. The craving needs to be a memory that is framed and housed in a place that you see each day. Not as a reminder of shame… but as a reminder of survival and a beacon of light on your journey to thrive.

Without acceptance… my recovery would be lost. The clouds in my coffee would pull me under and I would drown. It’s just that simple.

The key is to continue your journey towards being aware… towards being awake… and eventually… the place where we will become truly alive manifests.

Yes.. acceptance is vital to a successful recovery. It’s not easy, but it is necessary.

Originally published at