By Danielle Stewart
While we all have different journeys in recovery, most will agree that accountability is a crucial component when it comes to staying clean and sober. Once we admit we want to rebuild our lives—whether it’s to a close friend, a family member or all our followers on Instagram—it becomes a lot harder to just pick up a drink or pop a pill. After all, who wants to risk having to come clean and admit we lost focus for a sec—or, er, three years? Accountability is how we stay on track and we all have people, places and things that have helped us reach our alcohol recovery goals.
This is how accountability has worked for Lauren.
What does accountability mean to you?
Accountability is being held responsible for my actions or decisions. It means that today, I talk to people about my feelings instead of bottling them up inside. I let people know when I’m feeling like I want to drink or use, so they can look for signs. I go to AA meetings, and talk about my feelings. I also go to church and fill myself with the love of God to fill the void the drugs and alcohol once filled.
Does the fact that people know about your recovery play into you staying sober?
Yes. I let practically everyone I talk to know I am a recovering alcoholic/addict. I have a recovery blog and a book about my journey in sobriety so it is public knowledge. Everyone I work with knows. I am not ashamed of who I am. It also keeps me accountable, not only because I don’t want to let people down, but I also don’t want to let myself down. I know I don’t ever want to go back to that lifestyle. I am happy today.
Who or you accountable to in your recovery?
I am accountable to my sponsor, a couple of sponsees, my husband, my parents and my children.
How much does having a community help you stay sober?
Very much. I’m sure I could still do it if I didn’t have that but the positivity multiplies when there are more people involved.
Have you ever relapsed?
Since I went to treatment and stayed 45 days, I have not. I got the tools I needed to get and stay sober. I then started going to AA meetings and I have been clean and sober for 3 years and 3 months. Years prior to that I had gone to a treatment facility for 5 days, just to detox, never learned anything and never went to meetings, so right when I got out I was right back to it. Once I did treatment the right way and stayed, learned how to live sober, then it stuck.
What advice do you give people who want to get or stay sober?
Do it for yourself. Don’t quit for anyone else or it won’t work. You have to quit for yourself. Then it will all fall into place. You will then be able to take care of everyone else you love—husband, kids, parents, whoever. But definitely do it for you.
How important do you think transparency is in your recovery?
Don’t hide things. Recovery isn’t about judging others. We all have our own baggage. It’s about unloading your baggage and moving forward. Putting one foot in front of the other and moving in the right direction. Just keep moving.
How does it feel to earn people’s trust back now that you’re sober?
It takes time. Sometimes a lot of time. Sometimes never. But just do your best. Just keep your side of the street clean. Do your part to make things right. It feels good to earn their trust back when you do though. It may be hard work, but it is definitely worth it.
For the ultimate in accountability Soberlink’s Share Program provides recovering individuals a technology to build accountability and structure. The program is designed for those who want to share their sobriety with their support network.
About the Author
Soberlink supports accountability for sobriety through a comprehensive alcohol monitoring system. Combining a breathalyzer with wireless connectivity, the portable design and technology includes facial recognition, tamper detection and real-time reporting. Soberlink proves sobriety with reliability to foster trust and peace of mind.