310-534-1815 Contact Us Form

Is Self- Responsibility Safe?

by | Jan 15, 2023 | ComLine, Voices of Recovery

If I have been conditioned to believe that, in practice, being responsible means being blamed, or, on the other hand, being burdened, I may have not realized I have had this trait, this triggered reaction embedded in my attitude until I run right into it in considering the Steps.  For me, all twelve of the Steps are voluntaryI do not have to do them to be accepted as a member of any 12-Step fellowship or group.  If I felt relief, discovering we get to set our own pace, I also quickly realize that this means I am being asked to be self-responsibleIf I want the benefits of 12-Step recovery, it is up to me to do what it takes to get these perks.  I may immediately feel upwelling fear—fear that I will fail, fear that I am not good enough to be in charge of my reparenting, maybe even fear that if I do this work, I will end up just being sneered at, rejected, or used.

It does not feel safe.  That is why Step One asks me to admit that I am powerless to fix something, whether it is a substance abuse or a patterned behavior I just cannot seem to escape or stop repeating.  I would not do the rest of the 12-Steps if I did not need to break these patterns.  No, it doesn’t feel safe.  It didn’t feel safe when I came into these rooms, and it still presents a challenge.  I need courage to risk trying these ideas that I may not know even apply to me until I open up my heart and mind, and admit the truth, at least, about this one thing that I do that always seems to make things worse.  

If I admit just one behavior, a rusty chain that anchors me to sadness, loneliness, shame, or depression, linking me to adverse experiences, I have disclosed the issue I can identify right now.  That is where I choose to take control.  My recovery gets anchored to a path that leads me into a sunlit meadow where I am safe.  I discover friends.  These Steps are not baited traps.  They are not impossible, endless struggles to reach for goals that keep retreating.  I can and do relax in sharing my experience, just for today.  And it gets easier.  It feels safe to let a Power Accessible to Me, a Power that loves me and isn’t powerless at all, become my source of hope, just for today.

Kathleen S

Submission Policy

We welcome blog submissions of articles and other content from ACA members.
To keep this blog a safe place, before submitting an article or other content please read our submission policy

Submit Content


Posting of comments for others to see is disabled, but we encourage you to provide feedback by clicking on the “Submit Feedback” button below.

Submit Feedback

Sub Categories

Translate »