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 recovery goals.
This is how accountability has worked for Nancy.
What does accountability mean to you?
It means I say what I do and I do what I say, as well as showing up for myself and others. If I say I’ll be somewhere, I’m there. I rarely commit to something and then bail.
Does the fact that people know about your recovery play into you staying sober? How?
Most definitely. Early on in my sobriety I went through a challenging break-up and I wanted to drink and I wanted to numb out, but I was sponsoring someone and I had a commitment at a meeting, so picking up wasn’t an option for me. Being accountable to others is something that has kept me sober through a lot of my recovery. And to be honest, my ego has kept me sober as I wouldn’t want to have to start over and tell everyone I had relapsed. Clearly, I still have some issues about what others think of me!
Who or what are you accountable to in your recovery?
Myself and God first. I’m accountable to God so I can show up and be of service, however that may look. I have a husband and a dog that I’m very accountable to you and then the fellowship, as well as my sponsor and friends and family.
How important is having a community to your staying sober? Why?
It’s important. I got sober in San Diego and then moved to 3 other fellowships before coming back to San Diego last year. Each of those groups were important to me so I could get connected and take care of my sobriety. If I didn’t have AA, I don’t know how my sobriety would look. I think I’d be okay and manage my recovery through other avenues, as a lot of people do. However, I prefer the fellowship as I consider it my family and I’m happier being connected to it than not.
Have you ever relapsed? Is there anything you could have done that might have prevented that?
No, I’ve been sober since my 2nd meeting.
What advice do you give someone who wants to get or stay sober?
It depends on their situation. Is this their first time? Have they relapsed? Are they not sure they are an alcoholic? I got sober in AA, so for me not to share my story with someone else on how I got sober wouldn’t be true to who I am. I would ask them to quit drinking for 30 days and see how that goes or if they want help to check out a meeting, I’d be happy to assist. However, I don’t think AA is the only want to get sober; there are numerous other means out there.
How important do you think transparency is in your recovery?
I think it’s quite important, especially now that rampant addiction and alcoholism is more mainstream than it’s ever been and with more people recovering out loud than ever before. Especially the Hollywood (California) community—that can really help end the stigma as they share their stories with others. There is such a stigma attached to being an alcoholic and I’m pretty careful with who I share that with, especially in my professional life. I wrote a memoir, and for the sake of my family and my corporate career, I used a pen name and that’s where I share my recovery out loud. A lot of people that know me do know I’m sober, I just don’t share it publically as I work in a corporate environment where I’d prefer to keep my anonymity, for now at least. That could change in the future.
How does it feel to earn people’s trust back now that you’re sober?
It feels great! However, I wasn’t that accountable to others before I got sober. I was living 3,000 from family and friends for a while, so the only person I was immediately accountable to was my employer and I was able to maintain that façade fairly well. I do know my family trusts me and respects my sobriety, and that’s a true gift—especially because they all still drink.
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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.