The definition of personal responsibility is the idea that human beings choose, instigate or otherwise cause their own actions. A corollary idea is that because we cause our actions, we can be held morally accountable or legally liable.
There are also various types of responsibility. Some are obvious types and others that are more subtle to identify.
In this article, we look at the various models and common arguments for both sides of the “argument” that are used to understand the role accountability and responsibility plays in active using or drinking, those in recovery and the family and friends of those afflicted by addictions.
Using rivers and waterfalls as analogies for addiction and recovery have a lot more in common than you may realise at first, especially helping us to see those “Aha” moments.
The “aha’s” come when we realise that we don’t tend to blame people for drowning or for just treading water. We understand that sometimes people jump in over their heads, get caught in the current or get swept away by forces stronger than themselves.
If we find ourselves in this swiftly moving river, we recognise that we need more than human willpower to get back out. Much more. This is where we can find some compassion, which can be a life raft we offer to ourselves and others who are in recovery.
Addiction is a chronic relapsing brain disease and its rapids are fast and deep. Some of us dive in and never make it back to the surface. Others fight the current for many years. Most of us need help to make our way to shore and keep from falling in again. It takes a lot of practice to become a strong swimmer.
You can find helpful exercises and information to benefit you, no matter whether you’re still actively using or drinking, in recovery already or wish to help a friend or loved one who’s afflicted by an addiction.