Let me be honest in recovery
Honestly, honesty is tough for me. I lived for a long time in my addiction telling small white lies, telling bold faced lies, or basically saying whatever I needed to say to get myself out of sticky situations. A friend once told me that it was so creepy that I could look people right in the eye and tell some extreme fabrication. Sometimes I told these bold faced lies for attention or to make my story more interesting, but the scariest part was sometimes I told these lies for no reason at all. It was like a natural reflex I wasn’t even aware I was doing.
The lies to the outside world were horrific, but the internal lies I told were far, far worse. Lies like, “I’m okay.” “I can handle this.” “It’s not as bad as everyone is making it seem.” When I stopped drinking some of the lies stopped, but some still lingered. My knee jerk reaction was still to lie when situations got tough or quite frankly, when I thought I could get away with it. For me that was always that question, “Can I get away with it?” That has been my mentality for a long time. Constantly trying to figure out what I could get away with. I would think of what could I say to make myself look better. I would think what could I say to make this or that conversation over so I could move on with my day. What will make this person believe why I am right? In my mind I was always right and had to prove I was right, by whatever means possible.
While in recovery I had the opportunity to be completely honest for the first time with my sponsor and I told her everything. I mean EVERYTHING. All the lies, all the deceits were just out there hanging in the air of her living room and I was finally free. That freedom came with a price. I found that I could no longer exaggerate to enhance my stories. I could not longer scam my way out of tough situations. I could no longer look at people when I knew I wasn’t being honest. This caused me to feel extremely uncomfortable in my own skin. It was like my biggest defense from the world was removed and I felt exposed.
There are about a hundred different situations where I have had the opportunity to practice living life honestly. One incident that just presented itself was when I moved into a new apartment. The apartment complex allows dogs and my first thought was, “I could have my dog come live with me and no one would know. I could get away with it and save $350 on the pet deposit.” But almost instantly I thought, “But why lie?” I knew I had the money to pay the deposit and if my landlord found out it would only cause problems. So against my natural instincts, I called my landlord and told her about the dog. It was no big deal and my dog can live with me now. This is just a small example of how honesty in recovery has helped keep my life manageable. I’ve come to learn that doing the right thing leads to a lot less chaos in my life. If I get a parking ticket I pay it. If I mess up at work I admit it and ask for help. If I know I will feel guilty about some action, I don’t do that action.
The biggest example of my honesty has been admitting I did have a problem with addiction. I tried so hard for so long to give this facade of “everything’s okay.” This facade that I had it together. That I was a functioning adult. When I went to treatment I had to admit to myself, my family, and everyone in my life that I was most certainly not okay. I wasn’t even close. This was the real rock bottom for me. From that low place, almost 2 years ago, I have slowly and surely built myself the life I’ve always wanted. I went from a leech on society to a real functioning adult. That admission that I was not okay lead me to this life I live today. I now help other women find recovery, I’m getting good reviews at work. I’m a daughter to my parents and loving partner to my boyfriend. These were all impossible tasks while I was living in my web of lies and deceit. My addiction robbed me of the opportunity to be the person I had always wanted to be and sobriety has given that all to me. I haven’t received anything back I lost in my addiction, but, in sobriety, God has given me things I never even dreamed would be possible for a person like me.
Recovery has shown me that if I deal with situations the right way, from the beginning, with honesty and integrity, it helps keep my problems small and manageable. I am by no means perfect at this, but I am working continuously at rigorous honesty. Instead of always trying to save face or look good, I can now admit to myself and others when I am wrong. Sobriety has given me a lot of things, but ultimately being able to look at myself honestly and be proud is one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever received.
To follow my journey please check out my Instagram https://www.instagram.com/chasingthehighsober/
And please check on my recovery blog: www.chasingthehighsober.com