Getting sober is hard enough, but then they tell you that you must change all of your old ways, look inward, clean up your side of the street, meditate, make good choices, and more. The list goes on and on. It can be overwhelming to say the least. One thing I’ve learned in sobriety is that it helps to keep yourself accountable. What do I mean by that? I mean holding yourself accountable for your decisions and actions, particularly staying sober. Having ways to keep accountable can keep you sober. Here are 5 ways to keep yourself accountable in sobriety.
1. Tell your close friends and family about your sobriety.
There’s no better way to keep yourself accountable in sobriety than being transparent about your recovery. Telling your close friends and family can be difficult, but I highly recommend it. If you are more comfortable writing about your recovery or revealing it to your Instagram followers first, do that! The point is you can admit what you’re going through and tell people you’ve found a solution and you’re trying your hardest to stick to this new way of life. It becomes much more difficult to return to drinking if your loved ones know you’re working towards a sober life.
2. Be honest.
Honesty is something a lot of us aren’t used to when we get sober. We learn to lie in our addiction, and for many of us, lying becomes a way of life. In sobriety, we get honest with ourselves about our issues with alcohol and other negative behaviors. It only makes sense to stay honest when we’re confronted about our sobriety. If someone asks why you aren’t drinking, or where you’ve been, or how you’re doing, I recommend telling them about your recovery. This will keep you accountable to your path, while showing them what real recovery looks like. It will also help you feel proud of how far you’ve come and keep you focused on where you’re going.
3. Find an accountability partner.
I recommend this for anything you’re doing, whether it’s writing a book or staying sober. Find someone who is doing the same thing you are and agree to stay committed to your common task. Finding someone else who is also sober, to talk to when you need to is important. An accountability partner can help you when you’re feeling triggered, check in and make sure you’re staying the course, and provide unique support that sober friends and family might not be able to give you.
4. Stay connected.
A common symptom of addiction is isolation. It’s not uncommon to keep to ourselves, to cut out friends and family who worry about us, and to drink alone free from judgement. That’s why it’s imperative to stay connected if you want to stay accountable in sobriety. You can stay connected to a recovery group, other sober people, and a higher power of your understanding, or all of these things. There’s nothing more comforting than feeling connected after you feel alone. I’ll never forget how good it felt to hear someone else tell a similar story of mine in a 12-step meeting and saying, “me too.” Staying connected can remind you that there are many others on your path; if they can do it, you can too.
5. Keeping a list of what you have to lose.
In active addiction, I didn’t feel like I had much to lose, and I didn’t care if I did. In sobriety, I’ve built so much for myself – healthy relationships, a career, a successful blog, self-confidence, and a sense of purpose. That is just a short list of the things I have to lose if I were to go back to drinking, but there are many more. When you want to stay accountable, I suggest creating a list like this and thinking it over. Do you want to go back to your old life and lose everything you’ve created in sobriety? Are you willing to risk relationships with your children, parents, friends, and family? Are you willing to risk your health, your career, or your peace of mind? I’m sure you find that it’s not worth it. A great way to stay sober is to think about all the wonderful things sobriety has given you. Life would be extremely different if you were still drinking and that’s where accountability comes in.
Stay accountable, stay honest, stay sober. We can all do this together.
About the Author
Kelly Fitzgerald is a sober writer based in Southwest Florida who is best known for her personal blog The Adventures of a Sober Señorita. Her work has been published across the web including sites like The Huffington Post, Thought Catalog, Ravishly, SheKnows, Elite Daily, The Fix, Brit + Co, Addiction Unscripted and AfterPartyMagazine. She is currently writing a memoir.