Renaissance Ranch

The Importance of Accountability in Recovery

Jun 3, 2021

Business people bumping their fists

In a recent study conducted by the Association for Talent Development, data revealed that:

  • Brainstorming the goal = 10% chance you’ll meet your goal
  • Freely saying “yes” to the goal = 25% chance
  • Choosing to actively participate in the goal = 40% chance
  • Creating a game plan for the goal = 50% chance
  • Telling someone else you’ll try to meet the goal = 65% chance
  • Finding an accountability partner and consistently meeting about the goal = 95% chance

Data doesn’t lie. When we have someone there to hold us accountable, to help us meet our goals, our chances of following through and finishing strong skyrocket. However, it’s important to recognize the steps to take and the characteristics to look for when preparing to find an accountability partner, especially when facing addiction recovery.

After all, you seek the accountability partner, not the other way around, which means it’s your responsibility to build a strong, foundational partnership with someone you can trust.

Check out these three crucial elements to consider when beginning your search for a healthy, dependable accountability partner:

Prioritize what you need — not what you want.

Most of us like the end goal. We like the finish line, the confetti, and all the benefits that come from hard work, but few of us enjoy the early mornings, late nights, grueling training, and behind-the-scenes effort required to reach our goals. Regardless, you have to put in the work, and you need an accountability partner who knows what you need and what it takes to make sure you reach your goals.

When searching for an accountability partner, take note of those who are both honest and encouraging (emphasis on “both”). It’s not healthy to choose an accountability partner who’s dishonest, as they won’t always tell you when you have to step up your game, when you need to push harder, when you need to grit your teeth and keep going, etc.

On the flip side, you don’t need an accountability partner who lacks empathy and encouragement. Fighting addiction is hard, and it’s important that your accountability partner not only pushes you to reach your goals but also chooses words of grace and positive encouragement when things are tough.

Recognize mutual experience and mutual ideals.

Pure human nature draws us to those who share similarities: demographics such as the same gender, same skin color, same social class, same background, and/or same experiences. It gives us a sense of belonging, inclusion, and the idea that someone understands who we are. There’s nothing wrong with seeking healthy community and accountability amidst similarities, but that community and accountability must not only be similar to your experiences, but mutual in ideals, principles, and convictions.

It’s beneficial to find an accountability partner who has experienced drug addiction, but it’s vital for that person to have come out on the other side clean, healthy, and brave. While someone battling drug addiction can share your pain, your struggles, and your fears, someone who has experienced a healthy recovery understands your end goal and the steps it takes to get there.

There’s vulnerability when someone can share the hard times with you, but there’s vulnerability and freedom when someone can share not only the hard times, but the good times that came from hard work, determination, and a sense of true, healthy community.

Emphasize your roadmap and see who’s on board.

Those who’ve not only faced, but won the battle against addiction recovery understand what works — which practices, methods, and applications best suited their recovery experience. However, just as no two people carry identical experiences regarding addiction, no two people carry identical experiences regarding a healthy recovery from addiction.

Yes, it makes total sense to find an accountability partner who has successfully experienced addiction recovery, but it’s also possible that this same person might not have the exact same roadmap to success or an identical list of end goals as you. Maybe your roadmap requires incorporating physical exercise into your daily routine while theirs didn’t. Maybe your end goals include finding a church to plug into and theirs didn’t.

These things don’t count out their recovery, but it helps when you find an accountability partner who sees not only the big picture regarding a full recovery but understands, respects, and willingly shows up for your specific game plan for overall addiction recovery success.

It’s true — you’re 65% likely to reach your goals when you share them with another person and 95% likely to meet those goals when you have a consistent accountability partner. However, those stats reflect the power behind a healthy accountability partner who understands your past while also finding creative, consistent ways to push you towards a future of addiction freedom.

Take time to create your own roadmap, clearly identifying what the process will look like and the goals you plan to meet. Meanwhile, create a list of people who could healthily step into a role that recognizes and respects both your roadmap and end goals.

Addiction is Your Responsibility, Not Your Fault

When a person becomes addicted to drugs, alcohol, or even porn they are inclined to blame everyone, but themselves. Addicts tend to be deep in self-pity and use their condition to justify why they keep using.

Although most do not choose to become addicted, it is often forgotten that the ultimate choices lies within. Addiction is not fun or a life that anyone wants. Are you willing to do the work to get clean and sober?

Stop Blaming Everyone Else

Blame can bring about a lot of negative emotions that can prevent one from thinking clearly. Thinking that it is always someone else’s fault detaches you from responsibility and allows you to complain about the situation, but not actually confront it.

Those who participate in the blame game will not only be stuck in their addiction, but will be more likely to relapse. In order to build a life away from addiction you have to take responsibility for your own self.

Emotional sobriety is dealing with life and taking control of the decision that are made. You must own up to your own mistakes and stop blaming everyone else.

Taking Responsibility

It is very hard to admit that you have a problem and then take responsibility for said problem. This does not come naturally so where does one start?

Forget the blame game and take the initiative to get some professional help right away. Although it is not your fault you are addicted it is your responsibility to seek the necessary treatment.

Learn to accept yourself and what you have been through. No matter what you have in your past, that in no way defines who you are as a person.

Acknowledging that you are a stronger person because of what you have been through in your past can help tremendously with self-improvement and healing. Remember that blame will never lead to real change; once you have really stopped doing that you will be ready to move forward and start living.

Becoming clean and sober is a choice and only you have the control to make that choice and make it happen!

Without the right people to both hold you accountable and encourage you, the road to freedom from addiction can seem gray, unsure, and even intimidating. However, here at Renaissance Ranch, we understand that finding an accountability partner you can trust is a crucial factor in addiction recovery. While our staff and professional doctors can aid your process on campus, we recognize that you still need that healthy influence after completing our addiction recovery program. Our staff is here to offer advice and guidance as you search for a healthy accountability partner, providing goal-setting tools and training to help you identify which characteristics to prioritize in an accountability partner. If you are struggling with finding this healthy influence, or any other aspect of drug addiction recovery, we can help. The Renaissance Ranch team is here to assist you throughout your drug addiction recovery process. To learn more about our assistance, please contact us today at (801) 308-8898.