When living with addiction and mental illness, one of the common challenges we find ourselves contending with is that of taking responsibility for our wellness. We’ve developed patterns over the years of absolving ourselves of responsibility, often because we fear responsibility and the challenges that accompany it. How do we start taking more responsibility for ourselves and our well-being, so that we can move forward in recovery and stop getting stuck in our unwellness? Here are some of the common things we do when we’re afraid to take responsibility for our own wellness.
Blaming Other People
When we’re afraid to take responsibility, we can get into the habit of blaming other people for our challenges. We blame our families or caregivers for the traumatic experiences we’ve endured. We blame our partners for our addictions and mental health issues. We seek other people to blame, so that we can feel a little better about ourselves. We’re afraid to look at the role we’re playing in our own unwellness. We don’t want to look at the ways in which our own thought patterns, emotional responses and behavioral patterns are affecting our well-being. We don’t want to look at our choices honestly and openly. We’re afraid to do the work it will take to change ourselves. We take the easy route and avoid responsibility by blaming other people.
Deflecting and Transferring
Along with blaming other people, we often will deflect and transfer our issues onto other people when we’re afraid to look at ourselves objectively. When asked about our addiction, for example, we’ll deflect and bring up that person’s challenges, to take the focus away from us and our issues. We’ll transfer our feelings of sadness, hopelessness, fear and unworthiness onto other people and make them out to be the culprit in our emotional issues. At the root of these habits is our fear. We’re afraid that any bad habits we have, any mistakes we’ve made, mean that we’re not good enough. We’re afraid to have the focus on us and the changes we need to make.
We tend to think that admitting we have a problem means we’re weak, pathetic or shameful. We already struggle with fears of inadequacy and unworthiness. We’re desperately afraid that if we stop denying and avoiding our issues, we’ll bring more shame onto ourselves. We’ll be even more disappointed in ourselves. We’ll invite criticism and judgment from other people. People will look down on us and reject us. We use denial as one of our coping mechanisms when we’re afraid to take responsibility for ourselves and our well-being.
Learning some of the ways in which we try to avoid responsibility can help us turn our patterns around. It can help us step into our power, reclaim our lives and become more responsible for our wellness.
At Pinnacle Recovery, our personalized addiction treatment programs offer the full continuum of care, to properly treat substance and behavioral addictions, along with their underlying causes. Call 1-866-301-0573 today for more information.