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 Tony.
What does accountability mean to you?
Addiction tries to isolate me, back me into a corner, and separate me from my recovery posse. Accountability means I’m not in this fight alone, help is just a call, meeting, or tweet away.
Does the fact that people know about your recovery play into you staying sober? How?
It’s my first line of defense. Addiction likes secrets, so for me recovery means no more hiding. I’ve put it everything out there so if I have a lapse I’m going to do it publicly. It’s not just online, everyone from my family to my poor UBER drivers have to hear about my mission to smash addiction.
Who or what are you accountable to in your recovery?
It’s everyone who knows my name—that’s my sponsor, my kids, my ex-wife, my therapist and my mom. I tried to tell the dog but he doesn’t really care.
How important is having a community to your staying sober? Why?
I’ve had 3 lapses in my sobriety, but none of them resulted in picking up a drink. Why? Because I’m surrounded by people who love me enough to kick my ass. Let’s call it physical intervention; 30 minutes later the cravings pass and I’m beyond grateful for their help.
Have you ever relapsed? Is there anything you could have done that might have prevented that?
Only in my mind and I don’t claim the credit for toughing it out. By happy accident I’ve been in a place where drinking wasn’t possible. Even when my desire for sobriety flipped, the recovery plan held firm and I made it through another day.
What advice do you give someone who wants to get or stay sober?
Take all the help you can get. Do a 12-step program, get a sponsor, join online communities and read books. It’s a dogfight and you need all the backup you can find.
How important do you think transparency is in your recovery?
Honesty has been the breakthrough for me. At my rock bottom I had nothing left to lose, I turned to honesty almost like a sarcastic joke. Things were so bad I couldn’t help but laugh. Then I kept telling the truth and I found hope that maybe change was possible if I could be completely honest. I admitted I was powerless.
How does it feel to earn people’s trust back now that you’re sober?
I’m not sure yet. I’m still a newcomer, still fighting for my first 100 days. People won’t forget the 10-year train wreck that came first and I can accept that.
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.