There is No True Recovery Without Honesty

Honesty | Lakehouse Recovery Center

The path of addiction is made of mostly lies – an addict lies to others and mostly themselves. If they were honest throughout the illness of addiction, they would recognize from the beginning that there is a problem which is causing them to drink or use drugs. And later that there is a problem requiring professional help. With addiction, there is a refusal to look at the truth, a refusal to look at what’s wrong, and what’s hurting inside.

Because of the very reason that addiction is based upon lies; the healing of addiction must be based upon honesty and truth. One way that honesty is healing is that it reconnects us to ourselves. It builds a bridge between the parts of a ourselves that we didn’t want to look at while using. It reconnects us to the truth behind the drinking and drug use. It restores a healing relationship between the parts of the self that need attention not abandonment.

Building a Bridge with Honesty

Honesty in recovery also builds a bridge to others. For instance, an honest talk with someone can provide the opportunity to finally speak the truth, to share what you might not have ever shared, and to let go of the experiences that might have been driving the addiction. Although it’s often a process to get to this point, doing so can be entirely freeing. It is for this reason that the 12-step process invites a person to make amends with family members and friends whom we may have hurt at one point. It asks that we restore our relationship by bringing honesty into those relationships.

Honesty also helps to counter denial. Because denial is such a thick part of the illness of addiction, continuing to deny the truth or be honest with ourselves only seems to create more sickness. Simply being honest with others and with ourselves, regardless of how big or small it is, can help create healing. In addition to countering denial, the connections that honesty creates are also healing. Dishonesty, on the other hand, creates a disconnection from ourselves and from others, especially from those who might be able to provide addiction help.

Achieving Sobriety

For all these reasons, rigorous honesty is essential to achieve sobriety. When you’re early in your recovery, it might feel uncomfortable to be entirely honest, especially if you’re used to denial and deception. It might feel uncomfortable to be transparent, especially if you’re used to hiding parts of yourself. It might feel uncomfortable to be authentic, especially if you’re used to being pretentious and seeking approval from others.

However, practicing honesty, transparency, and authenticity is precisely the task of recovery. Once you’re sober and you’ve got a strong support network around you, then you may feel the strength to try doing something you’ve never done before. You may practice being honest, and if you do, you may find that it brings you closer to yourself and to others. Honesty heals.