Addiction and Responsibility

Addiction and Responsibility

If you are in recovery, you have taken responsibility for your life.  When you were using, chances are you were not very responsible.  You probably had excuses for remaining an addict or you might have blamed others for your addiction.  Responsibility is part of the recovery process from the first step on.

To be responsible involves being accountable for what you say, how you behave, and the choices you make.  With our choices, comes responsibility in that we are accountable for the choices we make even if there are negative consequences.

Addicts typically do not take responsibility for their lives because they can rationalize, justify, or deny anything that happens to them.  Addicts also try to blame others for their addiction instead of blaming their own actions.  Through blame, one who is addicted does not need to be responsible for their actions.  Addicts can also blame childhood events such as abuse or trauma to not take responsibility for their addictions.

Low self-esteem is a characteristic of many addicts and because of this, someone living with addiction may not feel worthy or deserving of better.  Others may experience what is known as learned helplessness, which means that they can feel completely powerless to change their lives in a good way.  The result of these negative feelings is that they perpetuate the addiction.

Family and friends might also shield their addicted loved one from negative consequences of their addiction, which inhibits responsible behavior.  Family members and friends can loan money, provide shelter, and provide excuses to others for missed work or school.

Addicts need to be responsible if they are to begin a program of recovery.  First, they need to be responsible for their addiction and become an active participant in recovery.  This cannot come from outside sources.  If an addict does not feel responsible for their recovery, they may try to sabotage it.  Someone seeking recovery must simply be willing to commit the effort to stay clean and sober and to feel responsible for their own sobriety.

The actions of an addicted loved one do reflect on other people and by not taking responsibility for their actions, an individual with addiction’s friends and family will continue to suffer.  Individuals who are responsible in their sobriety feel accomplishment and satisfaction with themselves and with their lives.  Being responsible and accountable can increase self-esteem and reduce anxiety and dissatisfaction.  There is no longer a feeling of powerless.

If you are ready to take responsibility for your addiction and get the help you need, Hired Power can help.  Please call (800) 910-9299.