A successful, lasting recovery means being honest not only with others, but also with yourself. Dishonesty puts you at a higher risk for relapse and prevents you from moving forward with recovery toward sobriety. It compromises relationships with those that matter the most to you.
We are dishonest for many reasons:
- To protect ourselves from shame or embarrassment
- To avoid painful or unpleasant emotions
- To protect others from feeling hurt
- To avoid the need to change
- To keep others from thinking less of us
- To avoid being caught for something we may have done wrong
No matter what the reason is for being dishonest, the end result is the same. Lying and being dishonest will only hurt your sobriety and prevent you from a lasting recovery. You need to put your sobriety first and focus on creating a healthy, positive life.
The Importance of Honesty in Recovery
Being honest allows you to do the following:
- Build relationships. Being honest in recovery allows you to build lasting relationships with loved ones and strengthen or rebuild existing ones that may have been damaged due to your addiction. During your active addiction, you may have lied to or cheated on those closest to you. Now that you are sober, you want to show those around you that you are working to improve your ability to someone they can count on. Being consistently honest over a long period of time will help you rebuild trust with those you love the most.
- Prevent relapse. Being accountable for your actions will strengthen your recovery. Lying can be a trigger for relapse since it can remind you of how you behaved when you were in active addiction. Lying is also a trigger for more lying. You may lie to yourself to avoid dealing with your emotions. You may lie to yourself about what you can handle. The only way to have a lasting recovery is to be honest with yourself and others around you.
- Move forward in your recovery. You cannot move forward if you allow yourself to stay stuck in the past. Be accountable for past lies and wrong behaviors and commit to being honest and moving forward in your journey of sobriety.
- Experience the benefits of therapy. If you are in therapy, not being honest will prevent you from experiencing its benefits. Being honest in therapy will give you the opportunity to understand what led to your addiction, what makes recovery difficult, and what you most need to strengthen your sobriety. If you are not honest with your therapist, they will not be able to provide the support you need in recovery.
- Avoid feelings of shame or guilt. Being honest with yourself and others will help you avoid feelings of shame or guilt that can be caused by dishonesty. Shame and guilt are triggers for relapse, but being honest with yourself and others can help you release the shame you may feel over past behaviors. The more you get to know your true self and feel free to express yourself, the less tempted you will be to lie.
If you find yourself lying and being dishonest, recognize the behavior before it is too late. Don’t fall into the pattern that caused you to use drugs or alcohol in the past. The more you practice being honest, the easier it will get over time. You owe it to yourself to do everything possible to maintain your sobriety.
We are Here to Help
If you or a loved one is struggling with a substance use disorder, Mountain Laurel Recovery Center is here to help. We can help you find treatment options to put you on the path to a lasting recovery. To find out more about what programs and services are available in our Pennsylvania recovery center, contact us today.