What To Do When You Feel Weighed Down by Responsibility

Weighed Down | Lakehouse Recovery Center

Feeling Weighed Down By Responsibility

Recovery can be a lot of work. You’re probably trying to get to as many 12-step meetings as you can. Plus, there may be meetings with your therapist, sponsor, and drug counselor. And if you’re also trying to get your life back together, then perhaps you’re going to interviews, meeting with family members to make amends, or going back to school.

Over time, this starts to feel overwhelming. You might feel weighed down by too much responsibility. If you’re feeling this way, here are a few ways to lighten your experience:

  1. Think why you’ve chosen to get sober. Sometimes, if you’re getting caught up in the appointments and to-do list, then it might be hard to see the forest through the trees. You might need to reconnect with the reason why you’re in recovery. Connecting with a sense of purpose and meaning can help inspire you when you’re faced with many responsibilities.
  2. Imagine what your life might be like when you reach your dreams. This is another way of reconnecting you with the purpose behind your recovery. However, instead of thinking about what you’re committed to, it’s important to also experience the feelings and emotions that can come with reaching your aspirations. What joys might you have? And at the same time, what will you need to give up in order to have a sober life?
  3. Think about the resources you have. If you’re overwhelmed with responsibilities, can you get someone to help? Can someone drive you to your appointments, for example, if it’s taking too long to go somewhere on the bus? Or can someone make you dinner once or twice per week so that you don’t have to think about that? Asking for help might be a way of lightening your load.
  4. Remember that a schedule creates stability. Although you might feel burdened by too much work to do, there are benefits to having a schedule and responsibilities to tend to. It’s common for those struggling with addiction to have instability in their lives. For example, some addicts are homeless, jobless, or without family to rely on. They might not have any income at all and struggle with meeting their basic needs. This instability can be hard on someone and it can become a contributing factor to their addiction. However, a set schedule with some responsibility can help create stability in a person’s life.
  5. Notice what you do have control over. Sometimes, too much work can feel like you don’t have control over your life and that you’re life is being dictated by others. And the truth is if you’re in legal trouble because of your addiction, that may very well be the case. However, for now, you can notice what you do have control over. This can help you feel empowered versus feeling overwhelmed or burdened by your to-do list. Also, it’s easy to fall into being a victim in life, even by a long list of responsibilities. However, when you put your conscious attention on what you can control and change on your own, you might feel more empowered.


These are suggestions for feeling lighter and less burdened by a great deal of responsibility. Feeling overwhelmed can lead to relapse for some people. Lightening your experience can help with avoiding relapse and feeling better about life.


The Lakehouse Recovery Center is a residential drug rehab center in Westlake Village, CA. We provide drug detoxaddiction treatment, drug treatment aftercare, and relapse prevention. Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, or visit our blog for helpful addiction and recovery tips.

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