A fulfilling, authentic recovery requires being honest even when lying is easier. Read on for helpful tips on how to keep your commitment to sobriety sincere.
“I can handle using drugs recreationally.”
“I used to be an addict, but I’m not anymore.”
“I know better than to make the same mistake again.”
There are a number of reasons why people who are struggling with addiction tell lies like these. According to addiction treatment specialist and psychiatrist Dr David Sack, the explanations can range from a desire “to feel important, to avoid rejection or judgment, to keep up appearances” or, finally, to create “a fantasy life that is far more tolerable than their current reality.”
In his essay on Psych Central, Dr Sack explains how putting an end to lying goes hand in hand with stopping drinking and using drugs—that’s why it is so hard. Lies fuel addiction. But when you refuse to be dishonest with yourself or with others in your quest for a new life, you are on your way to an authentic recovery—the only kind worth pursuing.
Tell the Truth Even When Lying is Easier
Twelve-step programs require rigorous honesty from people seeking recovery. This means telling the truth, even when lying requires less resistance. It also means not engaging in lies of omission, or the lies we inadvertently tell by keeping secrets.
In order to take back your power from addiction, you need to be rigorously honest not only with yourself, but with your family, doctors, counsellors, and with your peers in recovery. Dr Sack explains that this “requires authentic relationships that leave room for struggles and failures, setting boundaries, and living in accordance with one’s own values and principles.”
Keep Your Expectations Reasonable
An important part of practicing rigorous honesty is admitting to yourself that it, too, has limitations—it’s not a panacea that heals all wrongs. Stay on the right track with these reminders:
- Being honest is not just a decision—it is a commitment: It takes time to change, and honesty something you’ll need to consciously practice every day.
- You’re going to make mistakes: Don’t put pressure on yourself to be perfect, but do your best to stay focused on your recovery goals.
- Never be cruel to yourself or others: Engage in the process, but remember that honesty shouldn’t hurt.
- It takes time: Your friends and family might not be ready to trust you again. Be patient with them.
Get the Best Help Available
Getting sober is a difficult but rewarding journey, and it is not one that you should undertake alone. Set yourself up for the best chance at a successful and genuine recovery by opting for an evidence-based course of treatment that is tailored to meet your needs. Rehab Asia can help you choose between inpatient and outpatient programmes that provide sufficient aftercare. Contact us today to take action toward living as your most authentic, honest life.