Recovering from addiction means changing your life in many ways. Practicing honesty in recovery is important in itself and it’s the foundation of other parts of recovery. If you’re working the 12 steps, honesty should definitely be part of your searching moral inventory. If you’re not working the steps, honesty is still crucial. Here’s why.
Deception is part of an addiction mindset.
Perhaps most importantly, deception is is one of the primary characteristics of addictive behavior. If you ask family and friends of people with substance use disorders, they often say what hurts the most is their loved one’s lying, deception, and manipulation. At some level, people know when their substance use is unhealthy. They often hide it from others and lie about it. They may lie to get out of commitments, cover for mistakes, or get money for drugs or alcohol. The substance becomes the number one priority and being honest with the people they care about gets pushed toward the back. Making a commitment to be honest with yourself and others means committing to behavior that is fundamentally different to addictive behavior.
Strong relationships are based on honesty.
Having strong relationships and feeling a sense of connection with others is a major part of a successful recovery. Feeling connected to others reduces stress, increases positive feelings, helps you deal with problems, and gives you a greater sense of accountability. However, strong relationships are not possible if you are habitually dishonest. Some people think it’s better to avoid telling their friends anything unpleasant or anything that might cause friction. It may be more agreeable in the short term but in the long term it undermines trust and credibility. When you are part of a sober network, you rely on those people to be honest with you and you should be honest with them in return.
Honesty keeps you moving forward.
Being honest with yourself and others is what allows you to make progress. It’s easy to rationalize unhealthy behaviors such as skipping meetings or spending time with old friends who drink or use drugs. However, if you’re in the habit of being honest with yourself, you know when you’re doing something wrong. Giving honest feedback to your sober friends and listening to their honest feedback about you helps you all see opportunities for growth and increases your accountability. Feedback can be hard to hear but it’s necessary. In your other relationships, connection depends on your willingness to be open with others. You might avoid a few arguments by lying but in the long run, relationships improve by honest communication. It’s possible to be honest while also considering other people’s feelings. Being honest is hard but it gets easier with practice.
Tree House Recovery of Orange County, California is a premiere men’s addiction treatment facility that uses eight different modalities to help our men become the best versions of themselves they can be. We teach our men that every day of their journey is something to celebrate and that recovery isn’t a sprint– it’s a marathon.
To get started with Tree House Recovery, call us today at (855) 202-2138