How many people are always honest about everything? It’s probably not unfair to assume that very few people are always honest. As you begin your recovery journey, it’s doubtful that the concept of brutal honesty is entirely foreign to you. Many people learn about the importance of honesty in an addiction treatment program. Or if you have been to more than one 12 step meeting, chances are fairly good you have heard someone say “honesty in all of our affairs,” a common slogan.
Maybe you dismissed the idea of always telling the truth, since obviously if you were not honest, you would not have admitted you are an addict. Right? So how many more truths are there to tell? Or how about how many more lies can you tell?
That answer is infinite for addicts. There is no end to the number of lies someone in active addiction is capable of telling. When we are using, the untruths roll off our lips without a second thought. We may forget the first lie we told, however, we will not hesitate to tell another lie to cover up the first one and so on and so on.
We unintentionally created a life built on layers of lies that multiplied over time until we actually may have begun to believe our own stories. If you got to the point that you were unable to decipher fact from fiction in your own life, you are not alone. As our addiction takes over our life, we try to compensate for our shortcomings by making up excuses – repeatedly. Although it is an almost unconscious effort, we develop into expert liars.
Addicts are intentionally manipulative, deceitful, compulsive story-tellers, who spit out lies that sound amazingly true – at least in the beginning. As our disease progresses and our bodies get weaker, our minds stop learning anything positive or productive and without knowing it, we begin to lose our persuasive ability to create convincing tales that cover up consequences of our addiction.
Honesty is the foundation of successful recovery. It unquestionably takes time to stop lying altogether, as not telling the truth became “normal” for us during active addiction. Always being honest presents a formidable challenge that requires our diligence to achieve completely. Do not worry if you catch yourself stretching the truth. That does not signify failure, as long as you fix it going forward. Like everything else you do to maintain your sobriety, set out to accomplish this goal of being truthful one day at a time.