Taking Accountability Is an Essential Act



How quick are you to demand an apology from someone who you feel has treated you badly? Do you seek relief in them admitting that they were wrong and accepting responsibility? 

If your answers were along the lines of 'very quick!' and 'yes!' - why don’t you do the same thing with yourself and find relief in holding yourself accountable? I say: offer yourself the same courtesy and let the self-love follow. I need to hold myself accountable for a lot of things right now; for not writing, maintaining toxic relationships, and becoming completely apathetic towards things that need my energy. I’ve been misplacing that energy, and to me, holding myself responsible for this is the most effective type of self-care I can practice. Acknowledging how your own toxic traits and habits are influencing you and those around you negatively is imperative.

"When is it time to take responsibility for remaining in those unhealthy relationships that are serving little purpose? It’s when you’re scared to be alone, scared to admit that you need to love yourself first."


Assessing the reasons why we remain in unhealthy relationships is a gruelling process. Boy troubles are, unfortunately, something that define a lot of women’s years. We spend so much of our time talking about the tribulations and disappointments of our own relationship and those of our friends. Most of the time, we remain in those relationships (to the anger of those who are sick of screaming ‘you’re too good for him!’ in the girl’s toilets on a night out.) I think that we remain in those relationships because we don’t love ourselves enough to not have that constant distraction from our realities; the reality usually being a diminished sense of self and a desperate need for some self-love. 

So, when is it time to take responsibility for remaining in those unhealthy relationships that are serving little purpose? It’s when you’re scared to be alone, scared to admit that you need to love yourself first. In order to do this, stop punishing yourself and forcibly remove yourself. This accountability is terrifying and liberating and rewarding. It’s difficult, but I highly recommend buying a Florence Given T Shirt saying ‘it’s a wonderful day to dump him’ - it really helps. 

The same way we should want more for ourselves in romantic relationships, we should assess ourselves in our platonic relationships. To me, the most soul-destroying thing is realising that you have not been the best friend that you can be. Don’t allow toxic traits to filter into your friendships. In holding myself responsible for things, I have realised that one of my toxic traits is distancing myself from people who I’ve grown angry or resentful towards, without actually communicating these feelings to them as a form of self-preservation. 

"Admitting you are wrong holds less weight than the guilt you will constantly hold otherwise. It is too easy to maintain that someone has simply done you wrong and that is why the relationship ended, it is self-improvement to assess your role in it."


Being resentful is a waste of energy, and lacking communication is an asinine way of losing friendships. Becoming aware of this is so liberating. Reaching out and assessing how these actions have implicated relationships is another difficult yet liberating form of holding ourselves accountable. Admitting you are wrong holds less weight than the guilt you will constantly hold otherwise. It is too easy to maintain that someone has simply done you wrong and that is why the relationship ended, it is self-improvement to assess your role in it. Protect your energy, but also be willing to acknowledge when you’ve harboured it in the wrong emotion. 

Another thing I am trying to grow accountable for is apathy. I had lost interest in the things I enjoy most; reading, writing, and trying to be the most empathetic and selfless person I can be, but instead becoming self-indulgent and distrait. I was angry about Alabama’s ‘Abortion Ban’ and the men who signed it into law, but not as angry as I should have been. I was worried about Tommy Robinson’s ratification in British politics, but not as worried as I usually would be. 

I was guilty about this lack of anger and worry, but not guilty enough to do anything about it. I understand that there are too many fucked up things going on in this world for any human being to have the energy to feel something, and do something, about all of it. But, I’ve been slacking, and that is not okay. However, I am acknowledging this, and thanking myself for doing so. Making active steps to make up for this apathy is more important than acknowledging it. For example, instead of mindlessly scrolling through Instagram, scroll through an article by Rebecca Traister or any other awe-inspiring piece on Aurelia.

"It is often difficult to realise when you have fallen out with yourself, and even more difficult to repair it without guilt or pain."


Instead of listening to ‘Homecoming’ for the 1200th time (although listening Beyoncé is almost definitely another of the highest forms of self-care), listen to a podcast with a mission to make a difference; Call Your Girlfriend is my favourite right now. Instead of buying those shoes that you definitely do not need, donate to the Abortion Support Network in Northern Ireland. Take care of yourself, and you will feel your energy shift to take care of others too. 

Our relationship with ourselves should be no different from our relationships with other people. Think of how many times you have fallen out with your best friend, or even your mum, and made up again instantly without any consequences or guilt. Our inner relationship is like this, too. It is often difficult to realise when you have fallen out with yourself, and even more difficult to repair it without guilt or pain. But just as you would with your best friend, accept responsibility and move on!

We cannot always be glowing, self-aware activists full of love to give in nourishing and mutually beneficial relationships, this is not realistic or fair to expect from ourselves. Our patron saint RuPaul Charles said ‘if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell can you love somebody else?’ The simple answer is, you can't. I try to live by this every day. The world is a scary place right now, and it needs the best version of yourself that you can muster. Acknowledge, forgive and heal. Forget a face mask, this is self-care.