When addiction is in full force, so too, is blame. People who suffer from addiction are masters of blame because they do not want to take responsibility for their actions. They blame their loss of employment on an impossible boss; they blame their damaged family relationships on their spouses or children; they blame their health problems on incompetent doctors; they blame their rollercoaster of emotions on stress.
Blame is part of the denial of addiction, and it easily becomes a deeply ingrained habit. Letting go of blame and taking responsibility for one’s actions is a major step in the recovery process. It is essential in mental and emotional maturity. In order to live a healthy and productive life and become a responsible member of the community, people in recovery have to give the boot to blame.
Accepting Responsibility Means Practicing Humility
Accepting responsibility and giving up blame does not mean becoming a doormat by allowing other people to walk all over you. It does not mean taking on the role of martyr and feeling responsible for all the woes of the world. Taking responsibility does mean letting go of pride in arguments and disagreements.
It means giving up the need to be “right.” It entails taking care of your own business and allowing others to take care of theirs. It involves letting go of the desire to control others. We do not have control over some of the misfortunes, discomforts and disappointments that life brings our way, but we do have choices regarding how we respond to them.
Blaming other people or situations for our challenges is no longer a choice in sobriety. Blame creates a cycle of guilt and self-pity that goes nowhere. Relying on tools of recovery and the guidance of God found through prayer and meditation opens up other reliable options. Living life on one’s own terms means developing the emotional and spiritual maturity needed to prevent relapse.