Spiritual Changes – Honesty

honestcat

We put the drink down.  Now what?  In my last post I wrote about how we need to have a spiritual change in our lives if we want to remain living a sober life.  So where do we start?

I believe we start with honesty.  If we’re not going to be honest with ourselves about our problem with alcohol than we might as well forget about all the other stuff involved in recovery.  It all starts with being honest with ourselves.  We stop lying to our self.  We stop lying to others.  We come clean and admit we’re out of control and need help.  We admit we can’t do it on our own.

So much of our lives revolved around falsehoods and lies (when we were in active addiction and actively drinking).  We would be sneaky about how much we drank and where we would hide it in the house.  We never told anyone the full truth about our drinking that is for sure.  At least, I know I didn’t.  They wouldn’t understand and they would be disappointed in me.  That’s what makes AA and other programs like it so amazing.  It is a room full of people who are just like me.  I don’t have to act like someone else or sneak around or feel ashamed of my behavior around these people.  I’m not real big on sharing honestwthe details of my drunken escapades and I don’t think anyone else is either.  We all have our stories of living in excess.  We all have our own horror stories.  What we DO want to talk about is the solution.  We want to talk about how to get better.  We want to focus on getting well and living a decent life. 

I think living a life of honesty takes some time though.  And I don’t think everything needs to be addressed in very early sobriety either.  People carry around a lot of hurts inside them.   Some of these hurts are very deep rooted and are best dealt with after getting a little sober time under our belt.  Stuffing down these hurts brings fuel to other behaviors.  It takes a lot of time to work through issues from the past.    So when I am speaking about honesty in this article, it is the honesty of admitting we have an addiction and we can’t get better on our own.  We admit we are powerless and need God to help us.  We admit we are alcoholic and reach out to someone in recovery to help us.  We become honest to ourselves and stop hiding behind our behaviors.

Most of us who get to the point of wanting a life of sobriety have been through A LOT of crappy things spread out over years and years.  Being able to hide within ourselves has been a means of defense and a means of survival our whole life.  Having to become honest with another person makes us feel very vulnerable and uncomfortable.  But it is within this vulnerable situation of being honest about ourselves and telling another person that a new freedom will enter your life!  Your shoulders will feel lighter.  You can lift your head a little higher when your walking.  You don’t have to be nervous about looking people in the eye because you are making a tremendous step to becoming a better you! 

Once we start getting honest with ourselves we will have a new freedom.  But being honest with ourselves isn’t just about the behaviors and things we need to fix or work on.  Being honest with ourselves is also recognizing the amazing and wonderful qualities we have!!  These qualities have been drowned out and drugged for a long time.  There may be something new you learn about yourself.  How cool would that be!?   Maybe you have an awesome sense of humor, so start cracking jokes again.  Maybe you’re really good at playing card tricks, so at your next get together with friends or family bring a deck of cards.   Maybe you have a nice singing voice but you haven’t been sober long enough to let yourself sing a whole song.  So make a point to sing every time you take a shower!  We have to be honest about the negative but we also have to be honest about the positive. betterperson

Recovering alcoholics and addicts are really amazing people.  Most of them are highly intelligent, will give you the shirt off their back, are the hardest working employee you will ever have and they are an amazing and dependable friend!  Alcohol and drugs change us from being those things.  It’s never too late to give up the drink.  It’s never too late to start getting honest and start becoming the person you want to be.

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. carrythemessage
    Sep 26, 2013 @ 00:54:57

    Well said, as usual. Spritiual journeys have many principles lined up with them, and honesty is near the top for sure. I lied like a cheap rug and if you wanted to know if I was BSing, just look at my lips…if they were moving, I wasn’t being honest. After going through what you described…4th and 5th steps primarily, and then moving on, I found that my ability and capacity for dishonesty dwindled. What used to be easy peasy for me in the past is now painful to pull off. It’s not that I don’t ever lie, but if I do, it bothers me…and I have to make an amends of some kind, or pray on it, or adjust my future behaviour so that it doesn’t bother me any more, and I don’t get back into old ways.

    Great post!

    Love and light,
    Paul

    Reply

  2. Tom Raines
    Sep 27, 2013 @ 01:59:34

    I so agree Michelle! I think I enjoy the honesty found in recovery more than the sobriety. I think that the memory of the heavy load of dishonesty has kept me from taking that first drink many times. I do not want to begin the lying and deception more than I desire any drink. The freedom and power found in honesty is continually refreshing. The honesty and lack of fear not only frees us but also opens the doors for those yet to know this freedom. Yes, the first step in honesty is being honest about our addiction to ourselves but as CR states, honesty is the beginning of healing. Blessings and honesty my friend:)

    Reply

  3. Jodi Lea
    Sep 27, 2013 @ 05:24:01

    I’ve found such a freedom from myself since becoming sober and ‘working the program’ of AA. I love the fact that I don’t have to hide my empty bottles from my hubby, or lie to my friends and family. I don’t have to guard what I say – afraid I might slip and blab something I don’t want to share. I can look people in the eye and answer questions honestly – no more having to think up lies and feeling ashamed. Whew!
    Honesty IS the best policy 🙂
    J

    Reply

  4. triciajots4jesus
    Oct 23, 2013 @ 22:36:32

    Whether we have an addiction problem or not, honesty is sometimes difficult, but as you said, so-o-o-o vital.
    Blessings,
    Tricia

    Reply

  5. themiracleisaroundthecorner
    Nov 05, 2013 @ 12:52:34

    Hi Michelle,

    I am sorry it has taken me so long to get over to your blog. You have liked a few of my posts, and I really appreciate it! I have not been as diligent in reciprocating, and boy have I missed out!

    I love your blog, and I love everything that I have read so far. This post, in particular, really touches me. I agree with you… the foundation for our sobriety is definitely about getting honest… first, about our disease, and then about everything else. Because dishonesty can be progressive, not unlike the disease of addiction. A lie came so much more naturally to me than the truth when I was in active addiction, that it was entirely normal for me to distort the truth for no reason whatsoever.

    And I also agree that honesty takes time. We did not develop the “skill” of dishonesty over night, and we will not dispel it in that time either. For me, the longer I stay sober, the more uncomfortable I get with anything that feels dishonest, but I did not even consider that thought in the first few months of sobriety. I would imagine that recognizing dishonesty, and then correcting it, gets easier and easier over time!

    Thanks again, and I look forward to reading more!

    Reply

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