Woah, hold up. I have to do THAT? I am NOT doing THAT! You mean to tell me I’m supposed to tell some stranger all of my deepest, darkest secrets? I’m doing quite the opposite, thank you!
That was my initial response to finding an accountability partner. At the time, I didn’t understand. Before I was fully recovered from depression, I was deeply paranoid of people knowing my story, let alone share in the journey I was on. I was also embarrassed. If you only knew what I had been through! So I freaked out just a little bit…
However, looking back, I am so glad I decided to get past my initial shock and fear of finding an accountability partner.
They are so important to our continual well-being and recovery. They are the one person you can be completely real with–a person who you can share struggles, fears, victories, and failures with.
Accountability partners offer no judgement, but instead have a willingness to walk with you, instead of constantly tripping you up with their decisions of what you should have done. However, most people when asked to find an accountability partner have the same feelings of fear and derision as I did.
So then, how are we supposed to open up? What do we do to get over the fear of finding an accountability partner?
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Before I talk about that though, I should preface with this: you don’t need to let everyone in; you just need to let someone in.
Don’t feel like you have to trust the whole world with everything about your life. Even letting one person in can be hard. I understand. But if you find an accountability partner, there is so much reward.
The key to a good and healthy accountability partner is relationship. If you are looking for someone who is going to walk alongside you and know some of the things no one else in the world will know, you need to have a strong relationship with them. Are you volatile when together? Is your friendship defined by mistrust? Do they often judge you or others? Maybe not the best idea. On the other hand, is there mutual respect between you and your possible accountability partner? Can you tell them things in confidence? Are they a good listener? The point is not to check off a specific box on the list of good things.
The point is to put plenty of thought into who your accountability partner should be.
I’ve said it before: it is important to evaluate your relationships in life, especially if you are just recently recovered or just got back on your game after a relapse. Make sure your accountability partner won’t compromise your recovery, relationships with others, or your health. This is so important for an accountability partner.
Without constantly evaluating your relationship with them and making sure there is positivity, you are at risk of developing a relationship and having an accountability partner who can bring you down instead of lift you up.
You and your accountability partner will have a friendship that is raw, intimate, and transparent–so choose wisely.
Fostering a relationship is really what it comes down to. Let someone in.
Allowing that person in will be cathartic in nature as it allows a positive, healthy relief of emotions, feelings, and hurt. In truth, we are all looking for some sort of relief–from circumstances, troubles, and sometimes ourselves–and having an accountability partner can help you with this.
Let someone walk alongside you. You don’t have to go it alone, and I don’t think we were ever created to struggle and live life by ourselves. Let one relationship be a defining moment in your recovery instead of a defeating moment in your journey.
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