Honesty in Recovery

Let’s face it everyone… recovery is a process, and you’ve probably heard that over and over again. And perhaps you’ve heard the slogan from the 12-Step tradition: “it works if you work it.” If working your program feels like you’re climbing uphill knee-deep in mud in the middle of January in some back country hike, Then you’re in some serious… doo-doo.

So let’s all start by being HONEST about our recovery. Addiction for many people is kept under wraps. That’s the only way to maintain it—to lie about it. And besides, to admit your addiction would hurt your reputation. And you don’t want to that… Or do you?

So what if I told you that being completely honest with yourself was the only way you’ll ever even begin to conquer your addiction? Part of beating your addiction is beating your pride. Let me explain. The moment you begin to say, “I can beat this addiction, and I can do it today,” isn’t the moment that you begin down the road to recovery, but rather the day that dependency on your own will power prolongs your addiction. There’s a reason the 1st step in a common 12 step program is, “We admitted we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable.”

Experts say that when someone is caught in the sea of addiction, their will power becomes “practically non-existent.” Think about the last time you had a drink or took a drug. Why did you do it? It probably wasn’t because you wanted to draw out your addiction, or keep hurting your family and friends. At the point in which an addict decides to consume an addictive substance, he or she has lost the consciousness to remember the pain that same substance brought them and their family last week—or just yesterday!

Somehow the desire for what that drug will do for you erases the long-term effect. Somehow your memory turns off, or begins to fade, and your desire for a “high,” or for a release from reality is switched on and shifted into a high gear.

I say this knowing that honesty is of the utmost importance in recovering from any addiction first-hand. Admitting that you can’t beat your problem on your own and understanding that your addiction is forcing you to live a lie are key steps an addict in treatment must take. To be honest with yourself during recovery relies upon not deceiving yourself. We should be honest with ourselves concerning our character, about how we feel, our thought process, how we carry ourselves, and how we act and behave towards varying circumstances. There are countless advantages from being honest with ourselves. In our recovery, we are better able to notice our character defects, short-comings, negative thoughts, anger, and personality flaws. When we are honest with ourselves we gain the capacity for positive change to occur. Our desire for positive change helps us to feel better about ourselves. We become more aware of our true person, enabling us to have the opportunity to make the changes necessary to grow in our recovery.

In our journey it is just as important to be honest not just to ourselves, but with our dealings with others. Why should we lie our lives away? We now have the chance to make amends, heal our past wounds, rebuild our relationships based on trust, along with many other things that would be possible if we maintain self-honesty, as well as outward honesty. An ever-increasing amount of opportunity for personal growth in our recovery awaits us as we are honest about our addiction, our addictive behaviours, and our powerlessness.

You will reap the benefits of working an honest program. By being honest, we are open to utilize the many other spiritual principles offered in the 12 Steps of recovery. I have personally learned that I must be honest regarding all aspects of my life if I am to continue along the road that leads to further personal growth, spiritual enrichment, and positive change. I am grateful to share this message, and it is my hope that we all can adopt these principles in all our affairs.

Peace… Luke


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