Addiction thrives on isolation and deception. Denial gets in the way of making you see that you have a problem, or think that things “aren’t so bad” or your addicted life is easy to manage. A lifestyle of active addiction is characterized by working to make sure that other people don’t know how much your use is taking over your life.
If isolation and deception is one of the primary fuels of addiction, recovery consists of making connections with people who care about you enough to be willing to be honest. Accountability means that you see reality the way it really is, and responsibility for your past, present, and future, and can only be fully realized through truthfulness with others. Here are some of the reasons support systems and accountability are such an important part of the recovery process.
Face the past
One of the first steps in recovery is learning to accept responsibility for your past. You may have gotten used to finding excuses or justifications for the ways you were harming yourself and others, but now is the time to stop.
If you truly want to get better, you must first face all the ways you are in need of recovery. If you keep blaming someone else, or failing to see the full extent of the way addiction harms your life, you will never realize your enormous capacity for growth and change.
Being willing to admit you have a problem takes an incredible amount of courage, but it’s a vitally important first step to working towards solutions. Supportive friends, family, and a support group should offer a safe, nonjudgmental space where you can learn to look at the truth with unflinching eyes, and truly see the dis empowering illness of addiction for what it is.
Change your life and keep your commitments
In active addiction, people engage in habits deeply harmful to multiple aspects of their lives, including body, mind, and social networks. It is well known that drug and excessive alcohol use can often do great harm to your physical health and cloud your ability to think rationally.
Even beyond that, a lifestyle of addiction is often one without responsible self-care. A truly healthy lifestyle is one balanced between work, play, rest, exercise, healthy eating and strong friendships, something almost impossible to maintain with a body and brain fixated on using a substance.
Recovery provides the opportunity to heal from these wounds, and create better ways of living. Taking care of yourself means carefully examining the ways in which you eat, sleep, set goals for the future, react to other people, find ways to enjoy life, and find a passion and purpose for your life.
Other people are indispensable in helping you in these important acts of growth and self-discovery. The support of other people in recovery is indispensable in helping you learn how to navigate through life, and they should hold you accountable as your seek to accomplish day to day responsibilities.
Don’t give up
Sometimes your brain might become stuck in patterns of fear, shame, and hopelessness. You may have regret over many things you did in the past, and overwhelmed by the challenges in your present. It may be easy to feel that change is impossible, or that you will always be filled with regret over your past. If you feel discouraged or stuck in this way, the perspective of supportive friends can be indispensable.
Learning that other people face similar challenges can give you the encouragement you need to not give up. Recovery consists of living one day at a time, carefully living your life as best you can. People willing to support you and accept you as you are, but also tell you the truth are an indispensable part of making this change happen.