Awareness and self-honesty are two traits that feel hard to navigate in recovery. They are not part of being addicted to substances because there is so much hiding, lying, stealing, and a lack of awareness for so much of the journey. Addiction takes away a person’s sense of self and ability to be discerning about how to be honest and self-aware of how their actions impact themselves and others. When people enter recovery, they begin a re-discovery process of finding themselves again and seeing how their behavior harmed others. Letting go of denial is a big key is developing a sense of honesty and awareness again in recovery.
When people have an addiction, they often tell themselves various lies to stay in denial about the situation. It is not always about drinking alcohol or finding more drugs. A person with addiction may lie or make promises they can’t keep. They may want to avoid reality and rejection. They are ashamed and live in fear of other people. Honesty does not factor into the equation for them. It is about making commitments to be honest all the time in recovery rather than ‘some of the time,’ or ‘occasionally.’ a person with an addiction will push negative behaviors and thoughts. It is essential that people focus on how, to be honest in all parts of their lives and stop hiding from the truth of their actions. Whether they know it or not, they are hurting more than the person they are sitting in front of at that moment. To be rigorously honest is to be completely thorough and in touch with their thoughts and feelings about how to live in recovery without lying.
Role of Self-Examination
To live in honesty means making the best possible choices with the best intentions. This requires accuracy and vulnerability. When a person is in a 12-step program, they should commit to doing a personal inventory that makes them realize their powerlessness over addiction. This inventory exposes the person to who they are and being honest about it is the first step in understanding. Honesty helps people learn how to navigate healing in a new way and practice honesty in every facet of their recovery.
How to Be More Honest
Honesty is not always a simple process. It means learning how to be honest and learn how to live a lifestyle focused on honesty. Even if it seems impossible to overcome a situation, there are support tools. Consider some tips when working on honesty in recovery that might be helpful:
- Let go of self-critical thinking and judgment
- Don’t use honesty to create chaos for others in life
- Examine own behavior from past and present but don’t use it in a judgmental way
- Look ahead to the future
Don’t worry about being perfect in the process. Nothing is ever perfect. There is no way to be honest all the time about everything. There are always little deceptions or ways people cover things up from others. Not everybody needs to know everything. When someone knows they’ve tried their best, it helps to honor that. Admit what happened and work from there.
Truth About Honesty
People experience honesty and think it is the door to healing all past trauma and pain. Telling lies creates consequences. Those consequences can hurt others in the process and people may not be as forgiving, even if the truth comes out later. People who are hurt for years are not automatically going to forgive someone just because they’re honest now. It takes time to earn back trust and respect. For some people, this is not possible. The only way to make it better is to walk forward in truth and prove that honesty is the best policy in a consistent way.
Make it a Habit
Habits don’t develop overnight. They can begin the process of becoming part of a person’s story but it will not happen right away. While this level of honesty can become a habit, it takes work to get to that point. Don’t expect it to be as easy as flipping a switch. Working the process builds new habits of honesty and integrity. People who didn’t know an individual’s identity before may be more willing to lean into this honesty and trust. People from the past may need more time to identify with this new persona and believe it is for real this time. Self-honesty is important, too, even if it never happens outwardly. Inwardly, being honest with oneself and only doing what works for that person’s journey is key. Work the steps, do the process, heal from addiction, but only by doing what works for that person’s path. Don’t listen to others explain what to do. Listen to the body and mind and what it is saying. Most of all, listen to the heart and see what it is really saying. This deep, committed level of honesty can be the beginning of finally being set free from addiction and beginning the healing journey of recovery.
Recovery is a journey. There is no stopping point. Casa Capri is here to help women of all ages and from all backgrounds come together and work towards healing with other sisters who are desiring deeper work of healing. Our goal is to help you with programs and services we know work but it is up to you to want to do it. If you are ready to get started, call Casa Capri today: 844-593-8020
Melissa Holmes Goodmon is the founder and CEO of Casa Capri Recovery, a leading California addiction treatment center created just for women—by women. Melissa is a licensed clinician and has stayed on the cutting edge of women’s treatment since 2006. Because of her own beautiful recovery story, she is proud to be among a small group of trailblazers since founding Casa Capri Recovery for Women in 2011, leading the way for other women to join them in this otherwise male-dominated industry. She is considered an advocate for the recovery community in the truest sense, standing up to discrimination and legally fighting for the rights of sober people in recovery to live in peace. To learn more about advocacy or if you’ve experienced discrimination, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out casacaprirecovery.com for more information on our program, or please give us a call at 844-207-4880.