Of all the moral characteristics, honesty is one of the most respected. It is also the spiritual principle behind step one. Many people in recovery live by the mantra “we are as sick as our secrets.” Individuals need to pay special attention to honesty in recovery because they have to be truthful to others, and above all they have to be honest with themselves. People who do not develop honesty as a personal quality are more prone to relapse. This is why honesty has to become an everyday habit until it converts to second nature. Why are some people in recovery dishonest? There are many answers to that question, but here are three key reasons why honesty in recovery is so important.
Dishonesty is a Common Relapse Trigger
More often than not lying is a habit because they fear the consequences of their actions and want to protect themselves. Lying is an unproductive coping tactic. It is normal to struggle with owning up to dishonesty, but the key is to acknowledge when it occurs as soon as possible. If not, you could struggle with feelings of guilt and put your sobriety in jeopardy. Keeping a journal can help monitor behavior and look back for instances of dishonest behavior.
Dishonesty traps people in addiction and can make them feel trapped in recovery
When people are unmotivated to face challenges they often try to hide from it by being in denial. It is difficult to make progress unless you can openly recognize problems and agree on the appropriate action to remedy them. The incapability to manage life without substance dependence will likely result in using, which is why it is so important to face things as they come. Think of honesty as a muscle that needs to be exercised daily to build strength.
Dishonesty destroys relationships
Honesty is key to rebuilding relationships. From family and friends to a sponsor and therapist, it can destroy progress and healing when those around you find out about untruthfulness. Before entering recovery, dishonesty prioritized the addiction over relationships with loved ones. Now that recovery is our priority, we can rebuild the foundation of these relationships.