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Why Honesty is Crucial for Recovery

Addiction is characterized by deception. First and foremost, addicts lie to themselves. They may not even do it intentionally, as when they are in denial. Denial is not only being unwilling to face a difficult truth, but being unable to face it. Sometimes the truth is just too threatening. Denial lets you keep doing whatever you’re doing because you believe you are still in control.

Addiction also causes you to lie to others. Somewhere, deep down, you know you’re drinking or using too much and you don’t want people to know. Or maybe you’ve had fights with your spouse and you’re trying to avoid more trouble. Either way, being secretive, being deceptive, or just lying about how much you use is a clear sign of trouble. Not only is deception a sign of addiction, but dishonesty kills relationships faster than just about anything. Your friends and family will forgive a lot of bad mistakes, but trust is foundational. There are so many people who discover a spouse has a long-standing addiction and are deeply hurt not by the addiction, but by the deception.

Honesty is essential if you are going to get help to begin with. Even if you can’t see your own behavior for what it is, you have to be willing to listen when other people tell you what’s going on. Sometimes it takes a crisis or an intervention, but at some point you will have to reconcile what others are telling you with what you’re telling yourself.

In detox and treatment, honesty is indispensable. For one thing, your safety may be at stake. It’s important to tell the staff what you’ve been using, how much, and how often. As treatment progresses, you might have to face some unpleasant memories or facets of your own personality and behavior. It’s understandable that people have difficulty with this at first, but a commitment to be honest with yourself, your therapist, and your group is the only way to improve your situation.

In recovery, there are many situations in which no one can tell you what to do or hold you accountable. Those are times when you have to really be clear about what you’re thinking and feeling. For example, many of the steps are pretty much between you and your higher power. No one will know if you are holding onto resentments or not being honest with your sponsor, but if you want to stay in recovery, you have to get your head in the right place and no one can do that for you.

Honesty takes courage and practice. Everyone stumbles a bit now and then, but creating a habit of honesty will serve you well in your relationships and your recovery. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, Gardens Wellness Center can help you detox safely and decide on a treatment strategy. Call us today at 844-325-9168 or email us at to learn more.