What exactly is accountability? It’s a term we often hear thrown around when talking about recovery or while we’re at work. It’s a term associated with punishment for a lot of us, with being held responsible for the mistakes we make and the harm we cause – but it’s more than that. In many ways, accountability actually forms the basis for long-term, stable recovery.
In recovery, being accountable is the act of keeping yourself honest via your support system and practicing responsible behavior in all areas of your life. Very few people can stay sober without the help of others. No matter how good our intentions are, if we don’t allow other experienced people to help us, we are in danger of relapse.
Forming A Support Group
When we hear the phrase “support group” in connection with sobriety and recovery, most of us immediately assume that we’re talking about Alcoholics Anonymous. While A.A. does have an excellent track record in the recovery space, they’re far from the only option. If A.A. isn’t your thing, you may consider a church group, alumni group at your treatment center, or even just your extended family. Take into account your own personal beliefs and what has worked for you in the past. For instance, if you have several family members who also suffer from substance abuse disorders, they may not be the best choice for a support system. Likewise, you may not have been to church in years, and you may not be sure what your religious beliefs are anymore. Try to keep an open mind to different options, the key is to find a support group that works for you.
Accountability Defines the Efficacy of Your Support System
No matter what type of support group you find for yourself, they will never be able to help you unless you keep them in the loop. This is where accountability comes in. The entire idea behind having a group around to support you is that they can get to know you, learn your history, and make sure you’re continuing down the path to recovery. The key to making this work? Honesty.
If you lie to your own support group or fail to tell them what’s really going on in your life, they’re not going to be able to help you, no matter how hard they try. Accountability is a two-way street; everyone has to do their part. You may be thinking to yourself, “But why would I bother lying to a bunch of people I’ve asked to help me?” Unfortunately, alcoholism and addiction are cunning diseases, and we often act against our best interests – even without knowing it! The key is to be aware that this is a possibility. That way, we can set up some mechanisms to ensure that we’re being accountable, even when our disease plays its subtle tricks on our mind, and we act out in self-destructive ways.
Set Yourself Up For Success
The key to a good, successful network of accountability is to create mechanisms that will hold you accountable even when you might not feel like telling on yourself. For instance, people in A.A. often take commitments at meetings several nights a week. That way, even if you don’t feel like hitting a meeting and sharing what’s going on, you feel obligated due to your commitment. After all, if you don’t show up, who’s going to make the coffee? In other support groups, this can look different. If you’re leaning on your family during this time, set aside time a couple nights a week for Honesty Meetings, where each family member is encouraged to share honestly about their personal struggles. Each family member can then weight in, offering support and advice.
You may also pick a personal mentor or sponsor. The advantage of including one person in a mentorship role is that they can get to know you extremely well. The better they know you, your using/drinking history, and your triggers, the more they can help. Make sure you stay in touch with them regularly by scheduling a phone call at the same time every day. It doesn’t have to be a marathon, hour-long phone call every day, you just want to get into the routine of regularly talking to someone and getting their input on your life.
No matter what your accountability looks like, it can be a humbling experience. After all, you’re inviting people into your life and asking them to help you change behaviors. Make sure you work with your support system and work hard to remain honest and open with them – your recovery is worth it!
At Hired Power, we believe accountability is the key to any successful sobriety. Whether you’ve decided to go with A.A. or any of the other options out there, our recovery is only as good as the effort we put into it. Hired Power offers various services to help you stay honest with the people in your life who are trying to help you change your life. From monitoring services to sober transport and coaching, we’ve got the tools you need to stay on the right track, no matter how devious or cunning your substance abuse disorder is. Getting sober is a group effort, but it starts with making a phone call and reaching out for help.
If you want to get sober and need help to do so, give us a call today at (800) 910-9299.