Honesty is something that may have become buried deep when a person becomes addicted to a substance. Denial itself is one of the biggest lies and yet it is the one thing that is necessary for the addiction to continue. In order to continue the addiction, a person must lie to themselves about their reliance on a substance. They may lie to friends and family in order to hide their addiction. In some cases, they will lie in order to get the money they need for a fix. The lies continue and, often, become much easier than the truth. Lies can often become habitual because of the ease of use. When a person is ready to admit to themselves that they have a problem, that is one of the hardest truths they may ever face. It is only the first of many that must follow for a successful recovery.
Why is it necessary to maintain honesty during your recovery. The most important reason is that addiction feeds on lies. When you return to the old habit of denial, hiding, and dishonesty, it is a sign that the addiction is pushing its way back in. There are other important reasons, including:
*Without honesty you become stuck. This is especially true if you are facing your next step but can’t be honest about what you need to do, or with the need for that step. For example, if you can’t be honest about the pain you caused others while addicted, you can’t start to rebuild those relationships.
*You most likely pushed many people away. They are trying to get to a place where they can trust you again and not being honest only pushes them further away.
*You may feel guilty when you aren’t honest. That guilt may cause you to lie to prevent others from finding out, which produces even greater guilt. Soon, you are returning to a place where dishonesty is normalized. This is the place where addiction can once again take hold.
*If counseling is involved, which it normally is, failing, to be honest, makes it impossible to get the help you are seeking.
*When you aren’t honest, you begin to dislike yourself. It is a dislike for oneself that often leads to self-medication to cover up these feelings. In the early days of recovery, in particular, a return to this negative view of oneself can quickly lead to relapse.
Just as dishonesty can become a habit, so can honesty. Unfortunately, you will need to keep at it over time in order to make it a habit. The longer you have allowed dishonesty to reign, the longer it may take to practice honesty without thought but it will happen. Some ways you can start are:
*Catch yourself when you have been dishonest and own up to it to others. Admit you aren’t perfect, which none of us are, and attempt to avoid that situation again.
*Try journaling. Sometimes dishonesty takes the form of actions, not words. By writing things down and going back over the events of each day, you are able to catch those dishonest actions and examine them more thoroughly.
*It is important to avoid even the seemingly innocent little white lies we often consider harmless. Complete honesty is the goal. You can be honest and still not hurt others. In the end, they will respect you much more for your honesty. And you will respect yourself.
If you or a loved one has just taken that first step toward recovery and faced the need for help, give us a call. Here at Warner Parks Recovery, honesty is just as important from our side as it is yours. Freedom comes from being honest. Let us help you embark on that journey to sobriety and freedom. Contact us today.