And obviously, any behavior that harms others should go to zero. Financial troubles and problems finding and keeping employment are major triggers for relapse, but it is possible to take baby steps and get your finances in order. Just keep in mind that your improvements won’t happen overnight. When you first come across the concept of rigorous honesty, there’s a danger of getting it mixed up with brutal honesty.

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Together, you will develop better strategies to cope with the situation and avoid temptations. You can also join an alumni program to maintain friendships and find support. Participating in such events will help you maintain healthy communications and remain committed to your recovery goals. You have a chance to interact with peers struggling with similar problems as yours with whom you can honestly share experiences.

What’s In Your Recovery Tool Kit

Total abstinence may be the goal, but the reality is that setbacks are common. In time, you’ll learn how to be honest with a higher power with Step 4 and Step 5. Staying honest will come up in Step 8 and then again in Step 9.

Will I have to feel this way for the rest of my life? These feelings are what make some people pick up a drink or a drug, so far I haven’t, and I know that eventually those feelings pass, but it’s still hard. Forgiveness is an ongoing process I think I’ll be doing for the rest of my life. The stigma surrounding substance use disorder is also diminishing as it is becoming more and more common for people to get sober. Sometimes, people who don’t suffer from addiction still choose to quit drinking or doing drugs for health reasons.

The takeaway here is you cannot recover if honesty in sobriety isn’t there

We literally become different people when using — it’s night vs. day. It can be hard to talk about the embarrassing acts we may have done to get that next drug or drink. We think no one else will understand and keep things to ourselves. Or — my personal favorite — not being honest about where we are emotionally, because we want everyone to think we’re 100% on top of our game. The bottom line is, if you are committed to your sobriety, there is no way to avoid being truthful. Honesty in recovery is mandatory if you want to maintain long-term sobriety.

They tell this lie to make their loved ones feel that they are in control of the situation. In a true sense, the substances alter their brain chemistry, causing cravings. The drugs control such individuals, and they have to use them to feel normal. Such people are likely to remain addicted until they seek professional help. I remember my sponsor asking me, “Jeannette, how free do you want to be today”?

Rigorous Honesty Versus Brutal Honesty

Anger is a normal and natural emotion, but how you deal with it will make a difference in maintaining your recovery. Having a chaotic or disorganized lifestyle can also hinder your recovery. It’s important to develop a structured daily and weekly schedule and stick to it. John C. Umhau, MD, MPH, CPE is board-certified in addiction medicine and preventative medicine. He is the medical director at Alcohol Recovery Medicine. For over 20 years Dr. Umhau was a senior clinical investigator at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Rigorous honesty is most valuable when you apply it to yourself. Know who you are, and understand the value of being being sober sucks honest about your actions. In turn, you can work toward becoming the kind of person you want to be in the future.

The evidence of the destruction caused by their addiction is usually plain for everyone else to see, but the addict is able to hide from this truth. It is only when the evidence of the destructiveness of their behavior becomes too overwhelming to ignore that most will develop a willingness to change. Honesty is what finally leads people into recovery, and it is this that then keeps them there. Do you have any other types of addiction or problems in your life?

  • We must practice honesty if we are to know individual and collective freedom, harmony, and peace.
  • It’s not possible to live a life of addiction without lies.
  • If you say you’re not skipping with joy about your sober life then you must be doing something wrong or not following the program properly.
  • Honesty in recovery is not always easy to maintain.
  • If you sit and actually have an inquisitive, conversation with us and not instantly judge us, because we are not drinking.

Finding a voice of truth and hope in recovery is so essential. Years ago I use to read the line in the Big Book that states “some of us are constitutionally incapable of being honest with ourselves” and think of this as an alibi if I failed. I would think that maybe I was just one of those folks; a drunk who would die covered in a cloak of shame and lies.

Acknowledge Your Feelings

The rigorous honesty definition wipes all that away. In short, it’s making the commitment to be 100% honest all the time. It’s also not okay to hide information or simply not share key information.

  • Other addicts will compare themselves with others to justify their behaviors using lies.
  • Remaining on track with your treatment and therapy will also help you to maintain accountability.
  • Forgiveness is an ongoing process I think I’ll be doing for the rest of my life.
  • Others lie because they are afraid of the consequences of their actions.
  • Lying helps you keep close to your addiction and far away from intervention.
  • Guilt is having negative feelings about your past behavior.

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