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Living WITHOUT responsibility allowed me to do whatever the hell I wanted, but there was work involved. The work was to blame everyone for my problems, play the victim, rationalize or justify all my behaviours and sometimes intimidate or manipulate. My favourite was to sit with the issues in my head and debate whether I should or shouldn’t take responsibility. Sometimes I even talked to a few friends about taking responsibility, but this was an attempt to win them over so that I could justify my position and continue to fill my dark hole with anything I could.

The real reason I did not want to be accountable to myself or anyone was that I preferred the short-term pleasure of denial (addiction) over what I thought would be the long-term pain of responsibility (recovery). Not realizing this type of philosophy was backward and a set up for lots of suffering to come.

I was not willing to take an honest hard, painful look at myself. Unfortunately, a lot of people have to go the depths of hell before they finally accept responsibility for their life and recovery; some even die along the way.

"Addiction is NO ONE'S FAULT; however, recovery and living our best life is 100 percent of our responsibility."

In other words, I didn’t wake up on morning and say, I want to become a person with a substance use disorder and fuck up my life.

Make no mistake about it, there can be no recovery or expansion of consciousness if we are not willing to take full responsibility for everything once we turn the lights on.

It was by accepting full responsibility for ALL my actions or failures that I was able to see the truth and develop self-respect, self-esteem and eventually respect others.

Over the years I have come to realize that whenever I felt restless or down, it was because I was not taking responsibility for some part of my life. I had to learn this the hard way, HOWEVER today I look at responsibility as an opportunity to move closer to my true nature -LOVE and my dreams.

Responsibility is no longer a word I fear; it’s one I choose to embrace.

Today responsibility is about the truth; it’s about healing; it’s about waking up so that I can continue to be a LIGHT for others who are still suffering. We must take responsibility for our inner and outer lives but it can only begin by facing the elephant in the room - ourselves.

Paul Noiles

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