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Taking Responsibility for Your Addiction

When I was in prison, the majority of the women I met were drug addicts.  And while they came from many different walks of life, many had one thing in common:  they clung onto victim mentality.  The situations they found themselves in – including prison – was never their fault and they constantly pointed the finger at others for what occurred in their lives.  As a result, they could never move forward or break free from their addiction. 

Addicts often blame everyone but themselves.  The world never seems to give them a break, and they use their addiction as a crutch or a justification to keep using.   Even though they didn’t choose to become addicted to drugs or alcohol, they often forget the choice lies entirely within themselves to become clean and sober. 

Blaming others is so tempting because it’s easier to place fault with someone else.  That way, an addict can avoid feelings of guilt and responsibility, as well as develop an extensive list of excuses for why they use – excuses that ultimately allow them to seek pity and compassion from others.  Unsurprisingly, those who regularly partake in the blame game not only stay trapped in their addiction, but this mentality also puts them on the fast track to relapse, as well.

In order for people to build a successful life away from addiction, then, they will need to take responsibility for their own life.  But this can be a difficult task for anyone – so where do you even start?  First, ditch the blame.  Start being proactive and resolve to get professional help right away.  Even though it’s not your fault you are addicted, it is your responsibility to find treatment for it.  Secondly, learn to accept yourself for who you are and what you’ve been through.  Challenges, such as a traumatic childhood, a mental health issue or a past prison sentence, may have occurred and be part of your life, but in no way do these events define you.  Accepting what has happened in your past will ultimately lead to forgiveness, a crucial element in overcoming addiction itself. 

The bottom line is, blaming others never leads to real change or self-betterment.  Only once you are ready to own up to your mistakes and take responsibility for your actions can you start making a difference in yourself while in recovery.  The choice is completely up to you!