Take a look in the mirror – see that person? That’s the one responsible for your alcohol recovery – good or bad.
The current state of your recovery path – it’s down to you.
Made a mistake and picked up? That’s yours too.
Emotionally triggered when someone offered you a drink at a social event? Yep, that’s yours.
Sobriety is tough to get right. It’s more of a bike-riding experience.
What I mean is, you have to find your balance.
There’s a lot to consider when you’re sober for the first time in….a long time.
Social group, employment, family relationships, living situation, finances of course….all this is the stuff of life, the stuff that the alcoholic version of us, was avoiding all those years. The stuff of…taking responsibility.
In the past we could mask responsibility by using alcohol. Then, later, by using the excuse that simply – I am an alcoholic, therefore, I can’t be trusted, or expected to carry responsibility. Why would you ask me to do that???? I’m an alcoholic.
Alcoholism can be our friend in more ways than one eh.
Personal Accountability In Alcohol Recovery
But once we wake up from the dream (nightmare?) – we need to get a grip on life, and that means, personal accountability.
Do you know any long term AA’ers, any stalwarts of recovery, who don’t take responsibility?
In fact, almost all of the dis-ease of alcoholism could be described by, not taking responsibility in life.
That’s a generalisation, yes, but it does explain what most alcoholics are missing when they first decide to commit to recovery, and where they want to be. Do you know any highly organised alcoholics that take full responsibility both for their lives, and their drinking? Me neither.
So how do we manage this? How do we successfully take responsibility in our lives, without alcohol.
The answer is….with a lot of support.
There is no recovering alcohol alive, who has made the journey alone. Isolation is a part-and-parcel pattern of the behaviour of an alcoholic. To isolate yourself, and expect to recover, is almost an oxymoron.
Alcoholism .v. Isolation
Carrying that isolation as a pattern, into recovery, will not serve you.
We must learn – re-learn – how to accept help from people – and, more importantly – how to ask.
In the asking itself, is the admission that simply “I can’t do this alone” – isn’t this what we were all so ashamed to admit, when the alcohol got us, so afraid to let go and admit our weakness?
So the long term recovery comes from a *multitude* of supports around us – for every situation.
If you’ve been in treatment already, you’ll know well what your triggers are – and what it takes to set you off.
It’s common sense therefore, to begin to set up a specific style of supports, that you can turn to, should those stressors occur again.
It’s difficult in itself, because, it involves an acknowledgement of the pain. And a recognition that to move through the pain, we *are* going to have to address it. And your unconscious will do anything to avoid that.
The Only Way Out Is Through
But, as we learned from the big book, there’s only one way round the mountain, and that’s *through*.
The fellowship of course embodies this approach.
The key is to surround yourself with support – yes – but supports that work for you, specifically.
One to one counselling for alcohol might be fine for some – but maybe you need more practical support.
My friend got help via Edinburgh Rehab Centre and panicked as everyone else but him got a sponsor very quickly – I explained – a sponsor can work for many – but perhaps a more spiritual approach is needed for your personal history, your relationship with alcohol, your conditionings, and associations to the booze.
The short answer is that the personal responsibility is yours to take if you want to recover….but help is available. You’ll be surprised, if you just ask 😊
Post contributed by Abbeycare Rehab Clinics.