If you’re struggling with staying sober, accountability in recovery is priority. This means partnering with someone who wants to see you succeed and will gladly help you get to a healthy place.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the importance of accountability during the path towards sober living.
If you are still abusing drugs or alcohol, you have not yet been forced to take responsibility for your addiction. Or if you are still in the vicious cycle of getting high to avoid getting sick, lying and stealing to get money to get your next fix, and taking advantage of those who love you, then you have not yet been held accountable for your addiction.
If this sounds like you, don’t give up. You can get sober, and you can succeed in this world without drugs or alcohol controlling your life.
Once you get sober, you will join the millions of others, relearning how to live in recovery. If you are already sober, then you know what we mean.
Description of Life in Recovery
The time you spent living as an addict, you learned how to do everything high. From brushing your teeth to parenting to driving and even doing chores, you were high.
Now that you are in recovery, you must learn to redo everything, but you are sober this time. The first few months in recovery are spent adjusting to not being high or not spending all your time trying to get high. For some of you, this frees up a lot of time. And we all know that free time can turn into a trigger real fast.
During this critical period in recovery, finding ways to be accountable is crucial to preventing relapse.
What Does It Mean to Be Accountable?
Being accountable refers to the steps you take to help you stay honest about your thoughts, feelings, and recovery behaviors.
Being accountable in recovery is more than just one specific action. Instead, it is a bunch of positive traits you implement into your sober lifestyle.
Positive traits that help you stay accountable include attending meetings like AA or NA many times a week at the beginning of your sober journey. The more meetings, the better. Over time, you can reduce the number of meetings you attend each week.
Being accountable also means staying in a sober living home right after inpatient treatment to help you transition back into society. Sober homes give you time to practice living sober rather than just throwing you back into your old environment.
Furthermore, you can show accountability by building a support network, obtaining employment, financing your lifestyle, following through with commitments, setting goals, and reaching them.
Why Be Accountable?
Accountability helps you create good habits, which is something you need in recovery. You need to replace the bad habits you overcame with positive ones, like following through with commitments.
While addicted, you were not reliable. The only commitment you followed through with was continuing your routine of using. It is that routine that created significant problems for you. Accountability helps you prove you can be there for others and that you can be trusted.
Accountability keeps those little problems from turning into big issues. It is transformative because it takes you from victim to leader. It gives you power and control over your own life.
One of the best ways to be accountable is by having an accountability partner.
What Is An Accountability Partner?
If accountability means being honest with yourself, then the purpose of having an accountability partner means you are honest with someone else, telling your accountability partner the good and the bad of your new life in recovery.
Not every day is going to be easy. There will ups and downs, accomplishments, and struggles. Keeping these to yourself makes it easier to become overwhelmed by negative thoughts that can lead to negative feelings and behaviors.
An accountability partner can help you overcome struggles and can compliment you on your accomplishments. You also need someone who will tell you the truth, even when you may not want to hear it. If they think you have relapsed, they can call you on it. If they think you are doing great, they can praise you for your efforts.
How To Pick An Accountability Partner?
Accountability partners should be chosen with great consideration. Don’t choose the person who will tell you what you want to hear, or be okay with manipulation.
A good accountability partner should have the following qualities: they see your sobriety as a priority; they have been there and done that and know what you need to succeed; they can help you set realistic goals, and they are non-judgmental.
Accountability partners should support you when you struggle or fail rather than condemn you. They should celebrate your successes and offer positive reinforcements. Most importantly, good accountability partners are accessible. They need to be there for you when you need them, in good times and bad.
Boundaries With An Accountability Partner
When forming a relationship with your accountability partner, you will be building trust, letting your guard down, and letting someone into your inner circle. This is not something you are used to doing. Addiction confuses every relationship you have. When you were living with your addiction, you had no boundaries. Nothing was off-limits with anyone in your life.
It must be different now. Remember that the relationship with an accountability partner is much different than that of a significant other or a family member.
You must have boundaries with everyone, but especially with an accountability partner.
The best way to set boundaries is to stay focused on your goal, staying sober. If you can stay focused on recovery, then you can’t be focused on anything else.
This is your time to overcome your addiction to drugs or alcohol. You can stay sober for the rest of your life, especially when implementing actions known to improve your chances of success.
Do not be afraid of accountability in recovery. Be excited. You can even create your accountability statement so you can view it every day and visualize your end goal. You can even write down the many ways to celebrate your successes, small and large, along the way.
Be proud of your progress. You deserve it.