Addiction and Accountability
Addiction is defined as a disorder that is characterized by impulsive engagement with rewarding stimuli despite aversive consequences. Unfortunately, addictions are all-too-common and a magic pill does not exist that can be taken to make the problem or the pain go away. The process of recovery takes a lot of work. First and foremost, it requires you to be honest with yourself in recognizing and coming to terms with your weaknesses and vulnerabilities.
When recovering from an addiction of any kind, there are steps that should be followed to ensure the best possible outcomes. Detox, therapy, medication and lifestyle changes are all steps in the right direction, but one of the most important things that you can do is create accountability with yourself and with others. Building support around you will not only help you when you feel alone but will encourage you to stay true to yourself and your goals.
Take Responsibility for Your Past
Due to the shame that goes along with addiction, it is often hard to be honest, as simple questions can trigger shame spirals to the highest degree. Addicts will often find themselves in a web of lies, just as a way of living. When caught up in an addiction, it is easy to feel powerless and deny that there is a problem or worse, blame it on someone else, which is why being a part of a community that can point out and draw attention to these problematic patterns can be so useful. This might look like a sponsor, daily or weekly AA or NA meetings, meeting with a therapist, or just opening channels of communication with loved ones already in your life.
When you are on the road to recovery, be honest with yourself and with the people holding you accountable. It is important to realize that you and only you, are fully responsible for each of the decisions you make, as by nature, accountability has an inverse relationship with blame.
Just the same, if someone is to ask you questions about your choice of lifestyle, why you have changed your patterns, tell them about your recovery. The more you are open and honest about your situation, and learn to talk about it, the less likely you will be to fall back to your patterns.
Take Responsibility for Your Present
One of the biggest ways to keep yourself accountable is by acknowledging all that you have to lose. In any addiction, it is not uncommon to be blinded to the love of others in your life or to the blessings you have. You can become lost, isolated, and ashamed. When you step back and realize the people around you that have stuck around truly care about you and want what is best, it might be enough to bring you back to reality. Is it worth the risk of losing out on a relationship with a partner, a parent, or a child? What about your career or your health? Cultivating an attitude of gratefulness for what you have in the present moment, is another way to take responsibility for what’s already yours, and what you stand to lose.
Take Responsibility for Your Future
When you decide to become accountable it requires you to create a plan and stick to it. You have to understand what the challenges you may face are and prepare yourself with an action plan to face these challenges. One of the best ways to be accountable is by being honest about the extent of your struggles with addiction and telling others about your plans for sobriety. This is no easy task, but by being transparent, you are allowing others to keep track of your recovery process. Telling someone you love what you are going through and what your goals are will make it more difficult to go back to that addiction to avoid letting them down.
Breaking an addiction is no easy task, but it is doable. The best thing that you can do for yourself is to be honest. Find accountability with yourself and with others around you. This kind of support will likely be your lifeline.