Accepting that you are responsible for your own recovery leads to empowerment and puts you in a position of strength.  But often responsibility is confused with blame or fault, which can lead us into bad places that we don’t need to visit.  Let’s talk about that in this week’s episode of The Anxious Truth.

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The Highlights

Only you can make you better.  It’s natural to want others to do this for you, but in the end, each of us is responsible for our own recovery. Only you make you better.  Only I made me better.  Every recovered person makes themselves better.  Nobody does it for us.

Support is vital, but support does not make you recover. You do that, and you must take responsibility for that.  

There is tremendous power and empowerment in this concept.  We WANT to be responsible for our own recovery.  Trust me on this.

Often we use support resources to make us FEEL better, then we expect that feeling better means we are getting better.  This is expected behavior, especially at the start of the recovery journey. But at some point we must see that we are doing this, and then we must face the fact that being calmed, soothed, or instructed does not lead to recovery and that we must start taking those reins ourselves.

Some people believe that you simply cannot be responsible for making themselves better.  They believe themselves to be too weak or incapable to take this responsibility.  If this is you, keep in mind that you may come to this realization of responsibility in a moment, but really acting toward this responsibility takes some time to cultivate. We learn to be responsible in our actions incrementally as we move forward. Just having the realization that you are responsible for fixing yourself does not mean that you can do that instantly.  Be patient.  This shift happens over time.

Others hear the word responsibility and instantly hear “blame” or “fault”.  Being responsible for your recovery does NOT mean you are to blame for your anxiety problem.  It does not mean you failed, or that you are doing something wrong.  Responsibility, blame, and fault are not the same things.  Be mindful of this mistake. Do not fall into that trap. Being responsible in this context is a good thing.  We want that.

Do not forget the second part of the statement.  “I am responsible for my recovery … so I CAN take action toward that recovery.”  See the power there?  You don’t have to wait for me to give you the right words or say the right thing. You don’t have to hope that the new book you just got will fix you.  You don’t have to wait for your friends and family to make you better.  If you are responsible, then you can ACT starting right now to move toward getting better.  Accept the responsibility, then start to take the action that comes with that responsibility. Being responsible for your recovery means you have choices that you can make, influence on the outcome, and agency in the process. 

This does not mean that I, or your support system, is worthless or should abandon you.  The support will still be there and you should make full use of it.  Just don’t expect that support system to solve the problem for you because that’s giving up all your power for no good reason.  You have power, you have choice, and you have the ability to create change, even when that is difficult to do.

Accept this responsibility, then run with it.  You’ll be happy you did in the end.


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Intro/Outro Music: "Afterglow" by Ben Drake (With Permission)


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Founder and host of The Anxious Truth Podcast. Former anxiety disorder sufferer. Now fully recovered and dedicated to providing no-nonsense, straight-forward, actionable advice on how to overcome anxiety problems.