Sometimes when it comes to addiction, the last person to really come to terms with an active addiction is the user. Yes, admitting that you are an alcoholic or drug addict is not the easiest thing to do and continued denial can be tempting, but if you want to really get a grip on your life and stop the addiction, you’ve got to get very real and honest with yourself.
Honesty is a necessary characteristic for moving forward in recovery. For example, if you are struggling with cutting drinking out of your life, yet you tell yourself that you can do it if you keep trying or that it’s not as bad as others make it out to be, then you’re not being honest with yourself. People in general, and especially those in addiction, tend to view their lives based upon their intentions and not necessarily the facts, so they think they’re doing better than they actually are.
Rebuilding Your Life in Recovery
If you’re serious about wanting a new life outside of alcohol or drugs, you’ve got to get very real and honest about your life. Once you enter into recovery and abstain from substances, it is quite helpful to move forward being honest with yourself and others. Rebuilding your life in recovery requires honesty if you want to thrive. Those that continue lying to themselves and others tend to live a life that is unfulfilling and are much more likely to relapse.
The Dishonest Days Are Over
Many people in active addiction lie about all sorts of things. Whether it’s lying to a boss about why you’re late for work, to your spouse as to where your money went, or to your children regarding why you missed parents night at school, dishonesty abounds in the life of many addicts. Now that you’re serious about recovery, the dishonest days are over. You do not have to lie about anything anymore and this should feel refreshing! Commit to a life of honesty with yourself and with others. This is a great avenue for personal growth as honesty just makes you feel better about yourself all the way around.
Why People Lie in Recovery
Why would people continue to lie in recovery? Well, for some people lying has become such a habit that they have a tough time stopping. Before they know it, they’ve told a lie automatically, so you’ve got to really become conscious of your thoughts before you speak them. It may take some time and coming clean if you do slip to get into the habit of being dishonest. For others, they may lie because they don’t want to contend with negative consequences or judgments from people. They may not like conflict, so they lie to keep the waters smooth. Still, for others, they may not even realize they are lying because they’ve lied to themselves so much that they are self-deluded and not able to own their reality.
Lying Can Lead to Relapse
Plenty of men and women in recovery can tell you how lying led them right back into drinking or drugging, as it is a common relapse trigger. Maybe they’ve lied to cope with something in life and the lies can cause them to feel badly about themselves, making them more likely to self-medicate to numb that pain. Even telling just a little lie can bring on some guilt and it can also prevent some healing that may need to occur in your life.
How to Become Honest
Getting real and honest with yourself requires a firm commitment. It may take some time to get into the habit of honesty, but it’s possible. Also, if you do catch yourself lying, promptly make it right. Make the necessary apologies and keep moving. Don’t beat yourself up about it; simply keep doing the right thing and you’ll get into the swing of honesty before you know it. When you value honesty, you’ll be more apt to follow through with your commitment.
Everyone has a choice as to whether to live an honest life or allow dishonesty to have a hold. Being honest is certainly not easy all the time, but as you progress in being honest with yourself and others, you’ll realize that as a result you feel happier and more at peace. You’ll notice feelings like guilt and shame melting away, which will feel incredibly good. Make a commitment to being more real and honest with yourself and others. You’ll be super glad you did.
Dominica Applegate is dedicated to the art of self-discovery and creative expression with a passion for creative art. She’s got a deep-rooted passion for helping others heal emotional pain and trauma, as her own journey through love addiction has served as a catalyst for her own healing and beautiful transformation. Find out more at www.dominicaapplegate.com.