Truthfulness And Accountability In Recovery | Watershed Alumni
It doesn’t take much for one to understand the meaning of a term or concept; all that’s required is a simple Google search of the word.
And as true as this may be, there are particular life circumstances that individuals experience which can alter our understanding of these words.
The context of our own individual circumstances adds an unsaid meaning to certain words. For instance, the words “accountability” and “truthfulness” are words I have had a general understanding of for most of my life.
However, certain life experiences have led me to a new understanding about the meaning of these words. And my experience in The Watershed has been a primary influence behind gaining a better understanding and perspective of what “accountability” and “truthfulness” actually mean to me.
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Understanding The Connection
I’ve always had a general understanding of what the word “truthfulness” meant, or was supposed to mean, and for a while now I’ve understood what the word “accountability” meant. What I haven’t always grasped was the connection between the two words, and how that connection applies to me and what I’ve learned throughout the years.
Truthfulness itself is the concept of being honest with others. It’s when one person doesn’t lie to anyone else. What’s become clear over the years is that this truthfulness subtly transforms into accountability when you take the concept of truthfulness and apply it to yourself.
For me, The Watershed provided an amazing chance and opportunity to grow as a person, and to become the person I know I’m capable of being. My desire and passion at making this change is hard to articulate or express in a letter such as this, but let’s just say it’s profound, and could possibly be summed up in this phrase: “I want to be true to myself.”
I know who the real me is, I know who it is I am and want to be and want others to experience. But in order to make this change come to fruition, I’ve come to understand the most crucial aspect of all that’s involved in recovery is truthfulness. Needless to say, when I was using, I was in a miserable place.
Honest with Myself
And that was largely because I was not honest with myself. Also when I’m honest with myself, not only am I being honest with others, but I’m being accountable. And for me, there is no feeling more rewarding than what I feel when I’m keeping myself accountable
Since being accountable means I’m being honest with myself, a natural consequence that follows is honesty with others. I’m embodying truthfulness and accountability simultaneously. The perks of this, being true to myself, have been quite amazing. I was able to meet and become friends with my sponsor.
I was able to become part of the social life at The Watershed and flourish on to the three-quarters house. If I have been able to secure a respectable job as a manager and am seen as a respectable, responsible employee with a profundity of potential. And I have to say it feels good to be able to be relied upon, which is exactly what these two concepts help me to do.
Without a doubt, “truthfulness” and “accountability” are the lifelines living at the heart of my recovery. I can say today something I wouldn’t have been able to say until I found this program, and that is this: I am happy with the person I am. And I will continue to hold these two concepts at the core of my being, not merely because of the external validation and consequences it brings me, but because I haven’t found a joy in this life that’s equal to the joy of being who it is that I am.
Truthfulness: Watershed Alumni
For me, The Watershed is and will always be what it has forever been to me: that is, a program that helps individuals who seem to be without a second or maybe even third or fourth chance, receive those chances. For me, those chances were met with enthusiasm. Those chances were an opportunity to not only prove others wrong, but to prove myself wrong.
And this aspect of my unconscious, or subconscious, is what leads me to a better understanding of what the concept or term, “accountability” is meant to mean, whether in A.A. groups, with my sponsor or parents, or just in general conversation with people outside of these facets of my life.
“Accountability,” to me, can be defined only in terms that are outside of what the common terminology takes such a word/concept to mean. While it is general knowledge to anybody in a position such as mine where they need to make appointments on time–whether this is probationary, A.A., or even relevant to employment–my understanding of “accountability” reaches beyond that of the external validation. For me, if I am being accountable, that means several things.
First, I am being truthful–thus relating to the aspect of truthfulness in this letter–to myself first, and then in turn, others. Because, as my experience has shown me, when I am being truthful to myself, it’s inherent that I will then be truthful to anyone/everyone who surrounds me. Why? Because for most people, at least in my experience–and myself included–I have found that we base a large part of our internal logic/belief/understanding on external forces.
So, if one person believes me, and believes what I am doing, then I believe the same thing myself. Understanding this, it goes without saying that I can only do right by myself by being honest with myself in the name of personal growth, and will then, in turn, be honest with others. Considering this, and considering what I believe to know about people outside of my own conceptions of self, I have to bring up the aspect of truthfulness relative to the issue of accountability, and the misconceptions that may sometimes lay influence on the ideas of my truthfulness and accountability.
Brighter Future In Recovery
While I carry the humanistic flaw of being influenced by others’ perceptions of me, and realize the precautions that come with those who are in a caring, yet forceful or authoritative, position to ensure that people in a similar position as mine are doing the things they ought to be doing to move forward with recovery, I also have enough sense to understand the information that those people use to form the basis of understanding for people like me.
Practically speaking, me, and anyone else in this program, are in midst of a battle that we all too often see people on the losing side of. Being somebody who willingly and passionately involve themselves in our success, and yet is continually faced with the tragedy of another comrade lost, either literally or figuratively, I understand where doubt and questioning would come from on their behalf. However, it is this aspect of the program specifically that lends to my self-interest in being truthful and accountable.
Quality of Mine
If it weren’t for this newly found character quality of mine, I’m sure I would partake in the old patterns of behavior, letting people’s doubt in me, influence my actual behavior today. But it was through A.A., through The Watershed and my sponsor that I found this aspect of truthfulness that was motivated not by anything other than my own personal dedication towards accountability and led me to a path far different from any I’ve taken before–to a path that has a future bright enough to look forward to.
Written By: Kevin B., Watershed AlumnusTags: the watershed alumni