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Assuming Responsibility for Changing Our Lives

One of our major setbacks in recovery is our inability to take responsibility, not only for our sobriety but also for making changes in our lives. We become complacent and comfortable with how things are, even when they’re causing us tremendous pain and discomfort. We stay within the safety of our comfort zones because we are afraid to push ourselves outside of them. We blame other people for our addictions and our unhappiness, deflecting our issues onto other people and not recognizing when there are things within ourselves that we need to work on in order to get well. We refuse to do the hard work of initiating our recovery or of continuing to uphold it. We are resistant to making much-needed changes within ourselves and in our lives. Our inability to assume responsibility for developing ourselves and for changing our lives holds us back and prevents us from achieving wellness. It blocks our healing and keeps us trapped in cycles of denial, avoidance, and self-destructiveness – we deny that we have important changes to make, we avoid the truth of our illnesses, and we turn to our drugs of choice as our coping mechanisms. All the things we do to avoid taking responsibility for changing our lives just prevent us from getting where we want to be.

We have a hard time with responsibility because we fear being challenged, especially when in the past being challenged meant we fell into depression or struggled with worsened periods of addiction. We associate challenge with all of the tough emotions we’re afraid of, that we feel we have no control over. We’re afraid that if we put ourselves out there and really try, we’ll only incur more pain, more disappointment. We convince ourselves that if we never climb too far, we have nowhere to fall. We’re afraid that in trying to reach for better for ourselves we’ll only be doomed to failure. Within our fear of failure is also a fear of success. We fear the effort it will take to be successful and to be happy. We are afraid of overextending ourselves only to be so overwhelmed we break down. We are afraid of having to change the lifestyles and routines that we’ve been establishing over the years that have been centered mainly around our addictions and trying to have unobstructed access to our drugs of choice. We don’t want to be uncomfortable. We don’t want to push ourselves or strive for greater things in our lives. We want to keep things as they are because it’s easier for us that way.

Responsibility does come with challenges, there’s no way around that. We will have to work hard. We will experience some discomfort and some growing pains along the way. When we finally assume responsibility for changing our lives, though, the reward is in the tremendous growth we accomplish. We feel a greater sense of connection to ourselves. We feel closer to ourselves and more secure in our truth. We become truer versions of ourselves. We’re no longer lying to ourselves and hiding from ourselves. We become healthier, more balanced, more at peace, and happier. We experience better mental and emotional health. We feel more aligned, more grounded and more centered – all because we stopped shirking our responsibility and running from ourselves. We’ve been attempting to place the responsibility that’s ours onto other people. We’ve been blaming them for our addictions. We’ve been waiting on them to do the work for us of finding treatment centers and therapists. We’ve been frustrated and even resentful when people call us on our lack of responsibility and our complacency. We have a hard time looking at our own mistakes and where we need growth and improvement. We’d rather look to external sources of validation and comfort, namely alcohol, our drugs of choice and other addictive behaviors, than look internally at all the things we need to change about ourselves if we want to be well.

To stop avoiding responsibility for making changes in our lives, we first have to assess what those changes need to be, and this is an ongoing process. Also ongoing is our need to summon the inner strength and courage needed to tackle these changes. Remind yourself that the changes you’ll be making will benefit you tremendously in the long run and that the hard work will pay off immeasurably as you experience greater wellness and increased peace within yourself and in your life. Start asking yourself some exploratory questions. Where does your pain lie? What issues are recurring in your life? What traumas have you yet to heal from? What aspects of your life are not serving you? What things do you have to let go of? What changes are you being called to make, both in your life and within yourself? Work with a therapist, mentor, sponsor or spiritual guide to help you develop the objectivity and clarity to answer these questions. It can be hard to figure out what direction to take when we are too deeply entrenched in our own issues. Similarly, we won’t know what changes we need to make when our thoughts are all over the place and we feel out of control, so it’s important to take steps to take care of our mental and emotional well-being, such as meditating, getting exercise and making sure to get proper rest. We won’t have the strength to make changes in our lives if we’re neglecting self-care if our health is impaired or we’re on the verge of a breakdown.

With taking responsibility come growth, huge transformation, major personal development, and self-improvement, all of which we can be extremely proud of. When we face our fears and move through them, our best selves are waiting on the other side.

At The Guest House Ocala, we have personal recovery experience and over 12 years in the recovery industry. We have helped countless people recover, and we’re here to help you too. Call 855-483-7800 today for more information.