The Social Contract of Recovery

I had a number of different topics rolling around in my head to write about. Our journey in recovery is like a new chapter is revealed every single day; it’s never the same old, same old, for certain!

But something is standing out today, and that is our communal responsibility to others. When we take hold of our recovery, and work it diligently, to free ourselves from whatever the struggle or dysfunction might be, we involve others. Accountability partners, sponsors, and those we serve with in the fellowship as part of our program. In doing this we gain perspective, friendship and in some cases, a new family and place to call home. I have developed deep bonds with folks in recovery, some that run just as deep as if I had known them all my life; I love these people.

This means I have a responsibility to my new friends and family. And this is not a burden, but it does help me remain accountable for my actions. I learn how to establish and regain trust with people, travelling from the pre-recovery state of coming to the end of myself in my wretchedness of self-destruction.

To begin to feel whole again.

But I must understand this is a social contract. If I leave, relocate or, for some reason need to take a time-out, I need to let someone know. If I am in a sponsor/sponsee relationship, it is just good manners and good recovery to excuse myself, and as a sponsor, assist my sponsee with locating a temporary stand in while they sort things out to find a permanent replacement. As a sponsee,  I speak with my sponsor, and advise them of my plan to step back.

This doesn’t mean you MUST give a reason, though it may be a good idea for your own accountability to do so. But it does mean that you don’t leave your recovery friends hanging, wondering what became of you and whether they should start a search for fear you have relapsed (or worse) and in need of urgent assistance.

Personally, I know of several instances where people dropped off, and the next we heard, they were dead of overdose. That tears my heart up. And there are others, who just up and quit, without a word. And, we never hear another thing about them.

Because I believe the recovery family is one where I ought to speak and act in a way that honors God, myself and others, I will be responsible for my actions, and honor my commitment in communicating what it is I need to do next. If I truly love and care for this family, then I will always be striving to do a better job of this, and make an amends when I fail on this point.

I know this was a specific entry, but I have a feeling someone out there needed to read it. I know I needed to write it out, because there have been times I have “bobbled the ball” a bit here. And this has happened to me in as a sponsor, with sponsees that have disappeared without a trace, who I hope are doing okay.

Praying God’s grace over all of us today. Much love. 💕

Please check out my GoFundMe page  if you are interested in partnering with me to bring this into book form, and move the vision forward that God gave me for this blog, to take the message of recovery out to folks who need to hear it. Much Love!


2 thoughts on “The Social Contract of Recovery”

  1. Wonderfully put! I have had the same experiences as a sponsor and a sponsee. As a codependent in recovery, I use to withdraw and isolate from others until I started to realize just what you have stated. I have some accountability to those in my life that are walking on this journey with me. As a codependent, sponsoring others was at first difficult because when they disappeared because I wanted to find them and help them. That was a struggle because it’s just my codependent nature but I quickly realized that it is not my responsibility. When/if they did return, I was there to welcome them with open arms. I love this post!


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