The work we do to recover from our addictions is some of the most challenging work we’ll ever do in our lives. It requires conscious commitment and dedication to our goals, the self-awareness to keep ourselves on track, and honesty and transparency about any difficulties we may experience. To stay aligned with our sobriety goals, we need to hold ourselves accountable, both to ourselves and to the people in our lives. Accountability can be particularly difficult, especially when we’ve been neglecting ourselves and our health in favor of our addictions. For many of us, it’s been a long time since we’ve been effectively accountable and responsible for ourselves or anything else in our lives. We’ve essentially lost our connection to ourselves. We’ve lost our hope and our direction. When we’re in such a low place, grappling with depression and other mental health issues in addition to our addictions, accountability can be the last thing we feel capable of. We aren’t able to manage our lives or take care of ourselves. Our attention to our well-being, our self-care and our responsibilities have all been sacrificed to prioritize maintaining our lifestyles of addiction.
Digging ourselves out of the hole of addiction and climbing our way out of the pain requires that we make some major changes in our lives, many of which are fundamental changes to our perspective. When we think about things differently, we’re able to approach our recovery with more ease and grace. We live from a place of peace rather than turmoil. Accountability can feel daunting, overwhelming and scary. With some shifts in our mindset, we can start holding ourselves more accountable without creating undue pressure and anxiety for ourselves.
Recovery is a difficult journey, full of ups and downs, unexpected challenges and important decisions. There is no reason to undergo such a life-altering experience alone, without guidance and support. When we have someone to check in with, to report to and keep updated on our progress, we start to build up our sense of accountability little by little. We want to choose people who make us feel safe, supported, heard and understood. We don’t want to feel judged, criticized or scrutinized, especially when we’ve already been feeling this way for so long. Enlist the help of a sponsor, recovery coach, therapist, or friend in recovery. Choose someone who takes your sobriety as seriously as you do, someone who is consistent, caring and supportive, who won’t go easy on you, who will hold you accountable to the goals you’ve set for yourself. When we are struggling, we can’t always provide ourselves with the nurturing and guidance, or tough love, that we need. Our depression and anxiety can be so overwhelming that we retreat inwards and isolate. We need other people, outside our mental and emotional pain, who can help keep us on track.
Prioritize Your Health
When we’re neglecting our self-care and our health, everything else becomes more difficult. We feel drained, stressed out and exhausted. Prioritizing our mental, emotional and physical health frees us up to concentrate on our goals. We unburden ourselves of the heavy weight of self-neglect. We have more energy to apply to our recovery. Being in good health makes staying aligned with our sobriety that much easier. Get adequate restful sleep, eat well, see a therapist, get regular medical check-ups, and get enough exercise. Sometimes our mental and emotional challenges originate from physical causes, such as hormone imbalances, for example. Make your health a priority, and staying accountable to your sobriety will automatically come more naturally.
Sobriety is a lofty undertaking, and the recovery process can be intimidating and overwhelming. Set small goals for yourself that are easier to achieve. Make it a goal to see your therapist once a week, to go to a recovery support group meeting multiple times a week, to check in with your sponsor daily. Set goals that are easy to implement and follow through with. Every time we reach a goal, no matter how small, we’re learning how to be accountable, and we’re holding ourselves to our larger goal of sobriety.
Celebrate every win, both big and small. Celebrate one week of being sober. Celebrate handling a stressful day without resorting to your drug of choice. Reward yourself with healthy treats – a special meal, a movie, a day at the beach, a hot bath. When we set goals for ourselves and then reach them, we deserve our own praise and encouragement. We want to get into the habit of mentally and emotionally uplifting ourselves, to offset all the damaging self-talk we’ve been perpetuating over the years. Rewarding and congratulating ourselves reminds us there is so much to live for outside of our addictions. Showing up for ourselves in this way helps us build up our accountability and encourages us to be responsible for ourselves.
Focus on Your Strengths
When living with addiction and mental health issues, we get into damaging habits of self-deprecation and self-judgment. When we’re hyper-focused on our weaknesses, our mistakes and our regrets, we’re constantly knocking ourselves down, and we can’t withstand the heavy weight of all that. It’s virtually impossible to develop healthy coping mechanisms, and to be accountable to our well-being, when we’re mentally, emotionally and behaviorally self-destructive. We can create habits that increase our self-love, self-respect and self-acceptance. With time, we start to want to be there for ourselves, and self-love and self-care start to feel like gifts rather than burdensome obligations. By focusing on our strengths, we give ourselves the momentum we need to be good to ourselves. We increase our emotional resilience and fortitude. We give ourselves a fighting chance at recovery. Loving ourselves and focusing on our positive attributes puts us in the mental and emotional space to be accountable to ourselves. We feel more inclined to make healthy choices for ourselves. It’s easier to stay aligned with our goals. By building ourselves up, we’re strengthening our ability to be accountable to ourselves and to our well-being.
Accountability helps to keep us sober. It helps give us back our sense of self, our confidence and our self-assuredness. We start to see the positive results of the changes we’re making, and we are encouraged by our progress. Accountability is a tool we can add to our wellness toolbox to help us stay aligned with our recovery goals.
Recovery is freedom. Hired Power can provide you with the support and care you need to help you achieve lasting recovery. Call (714) 559-3919 today for more information.