How to Become Responsible in Early Sobriety

 In Life in Recovery

Responsibility is one of the hardest skills to build during your first steps to recovery. When we first realize we need help, and during the early stages, it’s common to lash out and blame the world for our problems. Often times, one of the personal factors that leads people to abuse is an inability to confront the things in their lives that are the real problems. Rather than face these challenges, people turn inward and mask their struggles with substance abuse. Recovery starts with responsibility. Here are the basic facts you need to know about responsibility.

What is Responsibility

Responsibility is accountability. Many people make the mistake of treating responsibility as an abstract trait or characteristic, but it is actually something tangible. To be responsible is to be accountable not just to others, but to yourself. One of the many unfortunate consequences of addiction is that we become unaccountable to the people around us and to ourselves. Rebuilding that accountability is what it means to become responsible. This means recognizing that you first need to help yourself before you can start being there for others again. Luckily, if you’re reading this you’ve already taken an important step towards recovery. Early recovery is all about being accountable to yourself. It’s that cold look in the mirror where you recognize that you need to enroll into a program and that you owe it to yourself to see it through. That’s responsibility returning to your life.

Why is Responsibility Important for Sobriety

Responsibility isn’t just a good trait to build during your recovery, it is the key to success. As the old saying goes: “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” Addiction, unlike other diseases, actively tempts you to stay sick. It’s very likely that your addiction has caused your loved ones and friends some heartache along the way, but there’s another person in your life that it has harmed—and that is you. The first, and one of the hardest, aspects of responsibility is personal responsibility. Recognizing that you need to get help and often the most challenging step, but it is also a sign of personal responsibility coming back into your life. It may not feel like it now, but deciding to start a recovery program is the beginning of being a responsible person again.

What Does Responsibility do for You

We’ve already talked about how responsibility is the cornerstone of recovery, but it is also so much more. Sobriety is all about finding your way back to a responsible life. Whether you are in an intensive inpatient program, a partial day program, or outpatient it takes responsibility to stick to these programs. This responsibility gives you back the strength you lost to addiction. While recovery and sobriety are the most important things to focus on early on, responsibility builds personal skills necessary for a sober life. Being able to stay sober, reconnect with family and friends, rebuild your career, all of these things are rooted in responsibility.

These three aspects of responsibility are key to becoming responsible in early recovery. Now that you understand the basics of what responsibility is, why it is important for sobriety, and what responsibility does for you in the long term, you can continue to build on your own recovery. Taking the first step to enroll in a program or begin your detox is the hardest step. It can feel intimidating and sometimes frightening, but the fact you are taking these steps is a sign of responsibility. If you wanted to know how to be responsible in your early recovery days, you’re already on the right track. Starting a recovery program is the next step to establishing personal responsibility and continuing your road to recovery.

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