Factors Facilitating Recovery: Self-Responsibility

In my last blog posting focused on factors that facilitate recovery, I discussed empowerment. This is a key factor, as it the person with the problem who does the work in recovery.

The flip side of the fact that ‘recovery is something done by the person with the substance use problem’, is that the person has to take charge of their own recovery. Although people generally need to be supported in their recovery, they can’t be care-taken or protected into recovery. Setting one’s own goals and pathways, taking one’s own risks, and learning one’s own lessons are essential parts of a recovery journey. No one else can do the work. Self-responsibility is therefore a key factor facilitating recovery.

Being responsible for one’s own recovery means that a person has a lot to learn in order to facilitate the process, not least that recovery takes time and a great deal of effort. The person must generally learn a good deal about the recovery process, and a great deal about oneself; some of the latter might be confronting. The support of others plays an important role in these matters.

‘… Group therapy is very helpful at giving you a new pair of spectacles through which to see the world, and very quickly I gained insight into the repetitive and self-destructive patterns of thinking and acting that had tripped me up so many times in the past.

One of the first lessons I learned was that I was responsible for my own feelings. Although now that sounds very self-evident, for much of my life I had believed that what was happening around me would determine the way I felt; as if I was passive and had no choice in how to respond to circumstances. There was a scared little kid in me who was still dictating the way I would deal with difficult life circumstances and difficult people.

Discovering that how I responded was actually down to me, and not to the circumstances I found myself in, was an eye-opener and very empowering. Treatment helped me to move away from being a perpetual victim to life’s challenges and to develop a bit more self-assurance and confidence.’ Tim

Photograph by Alex Goreham, shown on Unsplash, a source of free high resolution photographs.