Freedom Connection

Driving With Our Seat Belt Fastened

22

Feb 11

4

I have been thinking about accountability recently, considering its different aspects, and how it should be practically walked out in my life, as well as in the life of those who are now on their journey from bondage to freedom. Today, something occurred to me—accountability is like driving through life with our seat belt fastened.

As I pondered this, a word came to me: “tangible” accountability.  I have never heard anyone use that terminology before, but I can’t get the thought out of my mind. I wonder if we really have accountability at all if it is not tangible–something we can define, something solid, communicated, that we truly understand and experience like the feel of a seat belt securely around us.

Accountability is an absolute necessity on the journey from bondage to freedom from addiction.  However it does not stop there. Accountability should be part of every person’s life who desires to keep on a focused path.  We need relationship. We need those who are close enough to us who will ask us the tough questions—those in whom we can confide our weaknesses, ask them for prayer, and who will stand with us when things are difficult.

Isolation is the opposite of accountability—it allows for secrecy.  Isolation breeds darkness, continued addiction, sin, and loneliness. It allows suicidal thoughts to go unchecked.  We get deeper into darkness and addiction by staying isolated, not being answerable to any sort of accountability.  I have often heard the statement that you are as sick as your darkest secret.  I am not sure if I concur completely with that statement, but I do believe it has some validity. My blog post “Shining The Light” (http://wp.me/p122Xf-22 ) talks about finding someone with whom we can share about our secret addiction.  It is a huge step in the right direction toward freedom and healing when we are willing to be honest with ourselves, God, and someone else.

Accountability is relationship.  It must be with someone you trust or you will not find yourself being honest with them, and that is what accountability is all about.

There are different flavors of accountability.  It will look different for someone who is an addict pursuing freedom than for someone who has never been addicted, yet who understands their need for another person with whom they can be transparent—someone who is invited to give input into their life.

There is safety and protection in accountability.  It should be like a good seatbelt: you feel it, you know it’s there, it’s tangible, it’s secure…it feels right.

For an addict pursuing freedom, having an accountability partner(s) is absolutely critical in your life.  You must have someone you can be transparent with.  Someone you can share your successes and failures.  Someone who will ask you the difficult questions about your life.  Someone with whom you can talk things through, who will help you gain perspective on critical issues.  Addiction clouds perspective; you need a “clear thinker” to bounce things off, someone who will stand with you in your recovery.  If you do not have someone already in your life who will join you as an accountability person, I suggest you first ask Father God if He would bring such a person (or people) to be this for you.  Then, you might look in places such as a church recovery group or a 12 Step program.  See how Father God will answer your prayer.

Do you have your seat belt fastened?

 

4 Responses to “Driving With Our Seat Belt Fastened”

  1. Steve

    I have been working on recovery since 2005 and have struggled with maintaining long term sobriety. I recently completed a one week intensive program and as part of my care plan I need to identify multiple accountability partners. I have some people in mymlife that I believe meet a lot of criteria, but to best of my knowledge they themselves are not addicts. Can an accountability partner be a non-addict? I would love to hear any opinions on this.

    • Tammy

      Hi Steve, thanks for stopping by. I am encouraged that you are taking strong steps toward your recovery through the intensive program and accountability parnters. As you know by now, recovery is not for the faint of heart. We must pursue it with a passion, and not give up. Your question about whether an accountability person should be someone that is not from an addictive background, my thoughts are that yes, I think they can be very effective. The thing that would be important is that they understand addiction and/or are willing to learn and walk with you on your journey. My first thought would be to pray about it asking the Lord who He would want you to choose. Then talk to those people, get their thoughts and feedback. Not everyone is in the place to be an accountability partner to someone in addiction, and don’t be offended of they are not in that place to be that for you. Also, a good thing is to keep very open communication with whoever you choose, that either one of you can say down the road, “this isn’t working”, and be able to make adjustments without either person feeling rejected. What would be great is to have people in your life who understand the depths of addiciton, like an addiction recovery group, then also those who, as you mentioned, have not been addicts. Sometimes I think those who have not been addicts, yet understand addiction, can be very helpful as they have a clarity in matters when a recovering addict may see things a bit “clouded”. These are my thoughts from the perspective of my own experience. If you are seeing a professional counselor, please ask them this question also. Blessings to you, Steve!

  2. Healthy Relationship with Others – Why? | Freedom Connection

    […] is valuable to our lives.  Because of its importance to living a healthy life, I have addressed this subject often.  Accountability is one of the major keys to a lifestyle of freedom that I will address again […]

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