Part of the baggage that comes along with being a drug addict is the perfected skill of lying and dishonesty. It is practiced in every area of life when you are suffering with a drug or alcohol addiction.
Lying is a way to avoid responsibility for actions, manipulate others for money or drugs, and way to cope with yourself through the addiction by telling yourself “I’m not that addicted”. The fact of the matter is that even though it seems like dishonesty is serving you in some ways, it is really hurting you and pushing you further into the depths of drug addiction.
Honesty is the best path. It helps heal the hurt you have caused yourself and to others, and it can help lift you out of addiction.
The Role of Honesty in Addiction Recovery
The recovery journey takes a lifetime, and there are many obstacles that pop up and give us hard lessons. However, honesty is an important tool that helps guide us through that journey. Honesty is absolutely critical in keeping us sober, and it is vital in making us genuine and truthful people.
Honesty is taught from a young age throughout school and home. While most us understand generally what honesty is all about, it doesn’t hurt to look at what honesty really means.
What Is the True Meaning of Honesty?
According to Merriam-Webster, honesty is defined as:
1. Adherence to the facts: sincerity
2. Fairness and straightforwardness of conduct
Honesty is a commitment to living the truth while choosing not to lie. It is about seeing and accepting things as they truly are right now, and not trying to make them other than what they are, either to yourself or to someone else.
Why Is Honesty Important?
Honesty is about being open and displaying trustworthiness to others. Being honest means that you are able to tell the truth about yourself and the things that you say and do, even though sometimes it is uncomfortable to face your actions that may cause disappointment and anger in others.
It is often uncomfortable to admit an addiction and the actions that often go hand in hand with addiction. It can be challenging to admit these things even to ourselves, much less to others. We might fear being judged, or that the other person will not accept us.
However, honesty is the only ground for moving forward. A life of peace and joy cannot be built on lies. Successful recovery requires a commitment to being honest, first with yourself, and then with others in your life.
Honesty in Recovery: Your Commitment to an Honest Recognition of Yourself
When you make the commitment to live recovery, you need to also make the commitment to become honest with yourself and others. I have learned after many failed attempts at maintaining recovery that half measures in the program are never successful.
How to Be Honest with Yourself
A life of honesty and recovery begins with self-honesty, but how can you be honest with yourself?
- Reflect on your decisions.
- Recognize your agency in all the choices you’ve made.
- Focus on self-awareness.
- Allow yourself to be vulnerable.
- Acknowledge the good and bad in your life.
- Own your actions, including your mistakes.
- Avoid self-blame but take responsibility.
It can be challenging to start down the road of honesty, but it is possible. And once you’re honest with yourself, it becomes possible to have honesty with others. Like love and friendship, it all begins with you.
We need to be all-in in our programs of recovery to face the truth and address the underlying roots of our addiction. That’s why the program of recovery stresses the importance of rigorous honesty.
What Is Rigorous Honesty?
Rigorous honesty means telling the truth even when it is much easier to lie or omitting the truth. Rigorous honesty also means that you are upfront with your thoughts and feelings even when there may be consequences for those actions.
The practice of honesty not only will pull you from the grips of addictive thoughts and behaviors, it will also help you to become a better person in every aspect of your life.
By being honest with yourself in recovery, you attract honest and open friendships where you can be your true self and express who you truly are. When you become more trustworthy, you begin to love and understand yourself. You begin to heal from the brokenness that drug addiction has left you in.