I am not responsible for my disease. I am responsible for my Recovery. I am responsible for my own happiness and freedom.
The line between taking responsibility for all the harm that I caused during my active addiction and blaming myself, my parents, society, or God is fine and often elusive. This line is illuminated through introspection, stepwork and meditation.
In order to make amends and live in such a way that aligns with my belief system I must acknowledge the harm that I cause without getting stuck in blame. Blame (whether assigned to myself or anyone else) strips me of the power to change and live as I was born to be. When I hold other people accountable for my feelings, for my experience in life, then I have no responsibility for myself. As long as I continued that process I was never going to be happy or even in my own life because I was giving my power and my life away by giving someone else responsibility for it.
I take responsibility for my life and my happiness, and my behavior. I learned this through changing my behavior first. Changing my behavior, so that I became familiar with how the process of taking responsibility looks and feels. Choosing to engage in a recovery process by taking my body to the places where other recovering people congregate, choosing to begin new habits. Choosing to tell the truth to best of my ability. Choosing to trust another person to guide me into a new way of living. These are the choices that demonstrated my responsibility. I gradually stopped waiting for someone to fix me, give me what I thought I needed or make right all the wrongs I thought I had been done to me.
Choosing new behaviors had an effect on my thinking in such a way that I became better and better at choosing actions that were aligned with my beliefs. Beliefs that were buried under lies and revealed through practicing spiritual principles like surrender and acceptance. These new behaviors and thoughts changed the way I felt about being alive and being a part of this world. I began to embrace this life and tentatively take the power of responsibility for my happiness and my destiny.
I am responsible for my perspective and my behavior. I am responsible for my own happiness. I am responsible for knowing that when someone makes me feel some type of way, that's because I feel some type of way. It's not about what the other person did. Even if the other person was clearly wrong or harmful, I have a choice about what I do with my behavior, thoughts and feelings. Learning to take responsibility in this way gave me the freedom to explore and discover my likes, dislikes, wants, needs, values, and beliefs. I can now choose to live in alignment with my truth, operating from an internal locus of control. Free from the burden trying to figure out what I'm "supposed" to do, free from the illusion that I need to be anyone other than myself.
These choices and the act of taking responsibility gave me Freedom from guilt and shame. I used to think that not being responsible for my addiction was a copout, something that addicts told each other to get out of being accountable. I have learned that having compassion for myself and knowing that I was not in my right mind gives me the freedom to acknowledge and accept the things I did. I have learned that Accountability and responsibility are not the same thing. I am accountable for the harm I caused in active addiction and in my entire life. Accountability is what drives my amends process. Responsibility holds me accountable in the present and pushes me into a future where I am fully aligned with my highest Self and my beliefs.
Early in recovery I discovered that I did not know the difference between rage and disappointment. It took a few times of me feeling rage and acting out on it (throwing things, breaking things, screaming, feeling out of control) and then being responsible for my own emotions by looking at why I was acting in this way and feeling out of control. I learned that rage was how I reacted to not getting what I wanted. Once I had this knowledge, I became accountable for my behavior. Over the years, as I integrated disappointing experiences from my life and learned how to manage expectations, I have learned how to accept disappointment, most of the time. If I find myself enraged, I ask myself "am I disappointed?".
There are plenty of things that make me angry, being responsible for my life and my happiness means that I look at myself before I go looking to make someone else accountable for my own feelings.
Today, I take responsibility for my happiness and my life by choosing to be honest with myself and others about what I like and don't like. I choose to get a better perspective on my life. I am the first one I look at when I'm unhappy with someone or some circumstance. What are the choices that brought me here? What motivated those choices? What choices do I have now regarding my behavior, my thoughts, my perspective? The more consciously I choose my actions, the greater power I have to manifest the four aims of my spirit: Purpose, Abundance, Love, Freedom