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Responsibility and Recovery: Being Accountable

Accepting responsibility is an integral part of self-esteem self-respect and character building, both in and out of recovery. When you were using, you probably found excuses for bad behavior. This behavior was normal in active addiction. Denial can be powerful for people who have a substance abuse disorder. A lot of behavior is rationalized when it’s hard to deal with the guilt you have while you’re using. When you get clean, however, you are starting a new lifestyle and transforming your identity. Being an honest with yourself is one of the first barriers to cross. Which means that you have to become responsible for your own actions.

Being responsible for your life is an essential aspect of recovery. When you were using and refused to take responsibility for your actions, you were giving your power away to your addiction. Today, not only have you stopped using, but you have also started living again. You are making responsible choices to help yourself grow and change. And you are accountable for your own decisions, both to others and to yourself.

Why Responsibility Matters

An important part of adult life is taking responsibility for your actions and reactions. This means making amends, apologizing when you’re wrong, paying your bills on time and showing up when you say you will show up. When you decide to be irresponsible, you’re not going to feel great about yourself, and you’re in danger of backsliding into other patterns that feed addictive behavior.

You always have some form of responsibility for the things going on in your life. This is a powerful concept. Where once you were under the spell of your addiction, you’re now free! You’re free to build a life full of love, honesty, and self-examination. You’re free to improve your life and work toward your goals.

There are, of course, some things in life that are completely out of your control. You can’t prevent accidents or health problems, or the way that other people react to you. You can’t change the past, cure yourself of diseases or stop somebody you love from doing something destructive.

You can, however, acknowledge the part that you play. You’re responsible for your actions and your reactions. If you feel “out of control” or tempted to do something that jeopardizes your recovery, you have a responsibility to take care of yourself. This means going to a meeting, making a phone call to your sponsor, or otherwise reaching out to your support network. You don’t have to be alone if you don’t want to.

Before, when you were in active addiction, you were powerless. In recovery, you have the power to make positive choices in your life.

Being Responsible Takes Acceptance

Acceptance is part of the path to a more responsible way of life. Sure, it is hard to accept everything that is life throws your way, but when you do, you’ll find hope and serenity await. Attitude is a big part of acceptance – you can only do what you can do. Accepting that you don’t have control of everyone and everything can help you keep a positive attitude about life. You’re not alone in your worries, fears, and emotions.

Acceptance isn’t just about letting go – it’s also about letting other people help you when you need it. Accept that the world is bigger than you, and you don’t have all the answers. You can be responsible for your life by taking care of yourself and asking for help when you need it. Try to adopt an attitude of acceptance – life happens! You can’t control everything. But you can find ways to cope and take responsibility for the things you can do. For example, maybe you lost your job and fell behind on your bills. It happens. But perhaps you can still make a payment plan so that you don’t have to declare bankruptcy or lose your possessions. With an attitude of acceptance, you can focus on what you can do.


For some people, responsibility means easing back to the "real world" after treatment so they can stay in a safe environment. A sober home is a great way to transition back into life while still focusing on your recovery. Want to know more about your options? Give us a call at 760-216-2077 to learn about our sober home options for men.



Read Full Bio
Mark Gladden
CEO / Founder
Mark Gladden is the founder of By The Sea Recovery, a sober living facility located in beautiful San Diego, California. After struggling with addiction, Mark finally found recovery and a new purpose in life, to help others who are battling the same battle he faced.
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