The Value and Importance of Accountability in Recovery

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Personal responsibility and accountability are key to recovery. Being accountable for your actions can help you stay on the right path and continue in your recovery. Being accountable means that you are sticking to your goals, remaining sober, and committing to healthy lifestyle changes. Remaining accountable to yourself may be challenging. You may find yourself feeling stressed and saying things like, “It’s ok to slip just once–I’ve had a tough week!” or “I’ll just have one drink, it’s fine.” Holding yourself accountable for your recovery can help prevent you from relapse or going backward in your progress. Being accountable for your own behavior might be the biggest challenge in recovery! Remember that you do not have to do this alone and can reach out for support when needed. Set yourself up for success by planning ahead of time. Being accountable is much easier when you have a routine and structure for your recovery.

Remember Why You Sought Treatment

Most likely, you faced some sort of negative consequence to your addictions which lead to treatment. You may have faced legal consequences or went to jail due to your behavior. You may have neglected your family or dealt with a divorce. You may have experienced your “rock-bottom” or the moment when your life was at its worst. When things are tough and you start thinking about slipping back to your negative behaviors, remember what brought you to treatment in the first place. The negative moments of your life are challenging and may seem unfair. However, you can now use these moments to motivate yourself to do better. Recovery is about looking forward to the life you want to lead. Sometimes, you may have to think of the bad things that you are steering clear of to push ahead.

Find Support 

Remaining accountable is not something you need to do alone! However, you are responsible for taking the initiative to reach out for help or support when needed. Are you currently in a support group or 12-step program? How are you remaining accountable for attendance? Find a partner or sponsor in your program to help you stay accountable. You can work together as accountability partners. This person can call you to remind you about meetings or text you if you miss a meeting. Then you can do the same to help them stay accountable. Family members and other friends can also help you stay accountable. You may want to think of ways that they can help you and assign roles. For example, you may ask a friend to call you each morning to get out of bed on time. You may also find a partner to achieve common goals, like having a workout partner or dinner companion. You can encourage each other to maintain your health and wellness by eating healthy meals together or going to the gym with each other.

Create a Schedule 

Use a calendar or your phone to write down meeting times, work times, classes, appointments, etc. Creating a schedule can help you remain accountable. Writing things down can help you remember. Leaving your schedule to chance or only doing things “when you feel like it” can lead to falling backward. By writing out a schedule, you can get out ahead of failing to commit to appointments and important activities. Depending upon your needs, draft your schedule accordingly. You may need to plan each hour of the day or only write out important things, like group meetings or appointments. If you are starting a new job, write down the hours, or ask for a copy of your schedule. You might even want to schedule some time for yourself or time for fun activities. If you are neglecting self-care or time spent on meaningful activities, schedule this time for yourself. Planning meals can also help you maintain your physical health and shop more efficiently!

Track Your Progress and Acknowledge Wins

Track your accomplishments and the steps you are taking towards your goals. For recovery, you may want to keep track of how many days sober you are. You can also track other goals, like fitness goals or goals for going back to school. Make to-do lists and checklists of each step towards your goals. Cross the items off your list once you achieve them and acknowledge your own wins! Be proud of yourself and share your victories with others. When you give yourself positive feedback and tell others about your achievements, you build a reward system that can help you to continue working towards your recovery!

Being accountable and responsible for your own recovery is an important factor for success. You may need to have a plan to get out ahead of triggers or to know who your supports are. By having a strategy to avoid or manage triggers, you can help yourself avoid relapse. Keep in touch with your support system and maintain the important relationships in your life. Your support groups and peers can help you stay accountable to recovery by reminding you about meetings and attendance. Creating a schedule to follow with appointments, meetings, and self-care activities can help you stay on track with your recovery. Acknowledge and celebrate the small, daily wins! These are the things that will keep you on track as you build positive momentum to move forward. You may need additional support in your recovery following treatment. Everlast Recovery Centers is here for alumni and welcome you to come back for our groups. Call us today at 866-DETOX-25

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