You have decided to detox and quit drugs once and for all. But wait a minute – before you head home and think you are going to dive in headfirst back into your “real” life, you need to figure out how you are going to stay sober. It is not as easy as going to rehab and then going back to life as normal. Your life has just been rocked to the core and it is up to you to pick up the pieces.
First, you need to know that you should not and probably cannot do this alone. Does this mean you are weak? Nope! It means that you are smart and that you do not want to relapse. Everyone needs support in their life, especially when it comes to something as serious as overcoming addiction. You are talking about changing your entire lifestyle in a matter of a month or two. Your old habits are a thing of the past, but that could also mean that your friends, job, family, place you lived, and many other things are a thing of the past. So how do you start over?
You need an accountability partner, plain and simple.
So what is this “partner?” He/she is a person that can be with you all of the time. You know how your counselor is available to you by appointment or as needed in an emergency? This new accountability partner is there for you all of the time. Sure, he might not have the education that a counselor has when it comes to helping with addiction and recovery problems, but he does have the ability to help you make the right choices because you never know when temptation is going to come your way.
Did you know that between 50 and 90 percent of people that suffered from an addiction relapse at some point? That’s scary! The best way for you to prevent yourself from becoming a statistic is to have that partner by your side. He will be there to help you when you are faced with difficult decisions and do not know what to do. If nothing else, he can distract you, helping you gather your bearings and remember right from wrong. Thats why an accountability partner can be so critical to your success.
Finding a good online accountability partner is part luck and part informed decision. You know the people in your life and their tendencies, so think closely about each one and their habits to determine who would be best. It should be someone you get along with and will be willing to “go with the flow with” since, chances are you are going to be going head-to-head at some point when a craving hits and he/she does not let you give in.
Now that you have your partner, the rest is up to you. If you are not honest with your partner, there is not much he can do for you. Just as you have to have a certain level of trust in him, he has to have the same for you. If you only tell half-truths or sneak behind his back, his job becomes much more difficult and ineffective. Before you choose someone to be by your side, stop and think about whether or not you are ready to be fully accountable to someone other than yourself.
So just how can an accountability partner help you? Consider him like your subconscious just in real life. He is here to help you see what you are doing and evaluate if it will benefit you in the long run. When you are just overcoming addiction, it is very hard to think long-term. You would rather think about what will make you feel good right then and there. If that means taking a pill to chase away the pain, anxiety, or depression you are feeling right now, then that is what you would do, but an accountability partner won’t let you do that. Instead, he will help you make better choices, such as distracting yourself, going to a support group, or calling your counselor.
No one has to know that you have an accountability partner – it can be between you and him alone. As long as you are aware of the partnership you have created and the promises you made, you will be more likely to have a successful recovery and avoid becoming one of those very high statistics regarding people that suffer a relapse after addiction.