The role of honesty is very important in the life of a recovering addict/alcoholic in terms of becoming comfortable with in themselves and remaining clean and sober. The book “Alcoholics Anonymous” commonly referred to as the “BIG BOOK” states “Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being HONEST with themselves.” (Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 58).
It seems pretty simple, right? Wrong! Even though we all have heard “honesty is the best policy” many of us who come from addict lifestyles and dysfunctional family systems have learned that being honest can make life harder and get you hit/beat or rejected in some way. And the way to stay comfortable and safe is to lie to yourself about how bad your circumstances are, how scared you are, and hopeless a situation feels. Denying (lying) to yourself about how bad things are becomes a survival mechanism that becomes detrimental once you get into recovery and don’t need to protect yourself any longer. Recovery depends on the ability to get and stay honest.
Helping people find good reasons to be honest can be a difficult job, but we all know that if an addict can’t be honest they can’t stay clean and sober. We at Canyon Crossing help our clients find out that being honest is one of the first ways we become women of “integrity and grace”. If we can be honest with ourselves and love ourselves with open minds and eyes we can face anything sober and clean. We can learn to love ourselves and forgive ourselves for our pasts. We can also lift our heads up and look others in the eyes instead of at the floor in shame and fear. When an addict/alcoholic begins to be honest with themselves and others they begin to have self respect and can reconnect with themselves and their loved ones. Going from a life of lies and deceit to one of honesty and integrity is a worthy goal. It enhances life and creates a life worth living which every addict deserves, a life that is “Happy, Joyous, and Free” (Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 133).