There’s no more important component to success in long-term recovery than personal accountability. Blame shifting and finger pointing only inhibits growth and stalls your journey, increasing your risk of relapse. Too often we stand in our own way, falsely believing we are powerless to change our situations or improve our futures. That’s just not true- you’re doing it every day of your recovery.
What Does it Mean to Be Accountable for Your Recovery?
Accountability in addiction recovery means a great number of things, but most importantly it means doing the work: being honest to your therapists, actively incorporating new life skills, and acknowledging personal strengths and opportunities for improvement. Instead of immediately looking for ways to blame others for your actions or circumstances, accountability teaches you to recognize the part you play in creating certain situations. While this does not mean taking responsibility for other people’s actions, it does eliminate the need for external influence in your path of self-discovery and development.
Learning to practice accountability in addiction recovery also benefits other aspects of your life such as your career goals and personal relationships. Being accountable for yourself helps to resolve conflicts and better your ability to cooperate. It also helps to prevent unnecessary strife and emotional fallout that can lead to relapse.
3 Tips for Holding Yourself Accountable
#1: Accept Responsibility
Accountability in addiction recovery is all about responsibility: you have to accept that you are responsible for your actions at all times. Reacting purely on emotion can lead to trouble very quickly, so taking time to think before you act is an act of accountability we should all strive for.
#2: Stick to Your Commitments
It’s easy to make plans then cancel last minute, or set deadlines and just allow them to pass us by. Accountability is remaining dedicated to your goals and meeting those commitments which will help you get there. As you continue to make strides toward your bright new future, meeting the smaller and larger goals along the way helps to boost your confidence in sober living.
#3: Check Yourself
The most important skill to gain throughout your recovery is the ability to check yourself: to be able to evaluate your thought patterns and actions and determine where you can improve. Being able to identify cracks in the foundation of your sobriety is the best way to guard against relapse. Know when you need to reach out for help or need additional support.