In sobriety, you learn how to reclaim your life and become a responsible member of society. Responsibility means being accountable for your recovery. It also means that you’re accountable for your actions and reactions.
Being responsible can be a challenge. When you were using substances, you probably neglected a few responsibilities in favor of getting high or drunk. How many times did you promise you would do something but ended up getting high or forgetting about it instead? Even things promising to pay a phone bill or take out the trash add up. You probably lost the trust of some important people in your life because of this.
Today, you are a different person. Every day you wake up and stay sober, you have the opportunity to be a better person. You can also become more accountable and responsible for your actions.
Becoming More Accountable
We are all accountable for our actions, whether we accept responsibility for them or not. In recovery, you’ll start to make better choices. But everyone makes mistakes! This is why becoming accountable for your actions is essential.
The most straightforward way to be accountable for your actions is to apologize when you’ve made a mistake. This also means you are responsible for admitting your mistakes to yourself. Once you’ve recognized a mistake, you can do your best not to make it again.
In recovery, you are accountable for working on changing negative behavior patterns. This means working on yourself and having a recovery program. Getting a sponsor who helps you use the 12 steps will also help keep you accountable for your actions in recovery.
Staying Sober is Responsibility #1
Responsibilities are things we do for others in the world as well as ourselves. Paying the water bill, picking up your sister from school, going to a meeting or mowing the lawn are all things that qualify as being responsible.
As a person in recovery, you may slowly be building more responsibility in the world. Responsibility and trust often go hand-in-hand, so it takes a while for you to be given responsibilities again. You can’t take the whole world on, but you can become more trustworthy and responsible a day at a time.
What responsibilities do you have, right now, today? You probably have work responsibilities or home responsibilities. What about taking care of yourself? Do you go to the doctor regularly? Going to 12-step meetings is an essential responsibility in recovery. Working the steps is also a responsibility you’ll take on as you stay sober. You also need to work a recovery program, which means attending therapy or calling your sponsor regularly.
Responsibilities are a challenge of adulthood you will face for all your life. Don’t rush into any duties if you’re not ready. You don’t need a car note or a credit card as soon as you get on your feet. Make sure you can meet your obligations before you sign up for them.
You can also choose to take on more responsibilities in your relationships. Do things for your loved ones without them asking. If you live with family, start doing chores or pick up groceries when you notice they’re needed. You can also volunteer to help your kids with homework, take over dinner-making one night a week, or start a home improvement project.
Stay accountable to your sponsor and your friends in the program. They’ll be able to call you out if you get off track or start shirking your duties.
Taking on too many responsibilities in recovery can cause you to become overwhelmed. Balance is an integral part of your recovery program. Don’t sign up for too many responsibilities in your first one or two years sober; you’ve got plenty of time to work on your life and your self.
Staying sober is always the top responsibility – and for that, you’re always accountable to yourself. So remember, easy does it! Everything in recovery can be approached a day at a time.
Are you a professional who works in recovery? The Society of Addiction Recovery Residences is an alliance of sober homes and addiction professionals who work together to set the industry’s highest standards. We have free networking meetings and training online for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis.
To learn more about our organization or find a sober home, please browse our website or call us at 619-828-2001.