Taking Responsibility



The first step to building resilience is to take responsibility for who you are and for your life. If you’re not willing to do that, stop wasting your time...

Greitens, Eric (2015-03-10). Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life (Kindle Locations 484-485). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.


We exited one of the men from our residential recovery program last week.  He abused an illegally-obtained and highly addictive prescription medication.  Exiting a guy is never fun, particularly when - as long as he is sober - he is a pretty fun and interesting dude.  But, when the UA comes back dirty, they have to go.  They can come back after 30 days, but they still have to go.

When exited, men leave our building in several way.  Some hang their head and immediately admit their mistake.  Some deny everything as loudly as they can.  Some get quiet.  Some get angry.  Some apologize.  Some threaten.  Regardless, exiting someone is never fun.

So this guys was one of the guys who protested all the way out the door.  He protested to my recovery manager several times a day, in person and on the phone.  He protested to his mom, who called my recovery manager and gave him an earful. He even wrote a letter to Cityteam HQ, complaining about his situation and claiming we let other people stay in our building even if they were using.

But, in all of his protesting, he never took responsibility for his actions.

His mother never said he was responsible for his actions.

Both he and his mother blamed circumstances, other people, and our program for allowing him to relapse.

Until he takes responsibility for his actions, this young man will not be able to maintain a sober lifestyle for very long.  As long as his mother enables him and fights for him by excusing his behavior and laying blame at the feet of circumstance, he will not be able to maintain his sobriety.

I am convinced that taking responsibility for your actions is the first step toward freedom and a resilient lifestyle.


photo by MoDOT Photos