Honesty is an Important Recovery Tool
Many in recovery have found that honesty is an invaluable tool for staying sober. But even before they took on a program of recovery, they probably had to use the honesty tool. They had to look at themselves squarely in the eye and admit that they had a problem. That opened the door to receive help and support from others to not only stay clean and sober, but to stay honest.
Just about all addicts lie about their alcohol and drug consumption. They lie to avoid conflict, they lie to stay out of jail, they lie to preserve relationships. But the most damaging deception of all is the lie they tell themselves, which is called denial. Denial rejects the help of professionals who could guide individuals to receive the advocacy, tips, and advice that might save their lives. This kind of dishonesty keeps them out of recovery and perpetuates the suffering that comes from the disease of addiction.
Staying Sober Means Staying on the Path of Integrity
Honesty opens the door to recovery, and light comes pouring in. It’s one of the main keys in learning how to stay clean and sober. And it’s like any discipline. It has to be built into one’s daily habits until it becomes second nature. It might be best to start small – maybe find one person who can be trusted with secrets and challenges, who can help with the honesty tool by calling out any lies – big or small. In twelve-step programs this person is called a sponsor. Taking stock every night about how honesty has played a role in one’s day is another good way to maintain honesty and sobriety.
It’s impossible to stay honest all of the time, of course. Dishonesty may creep up once in a while, but it can be dealt with immediately by taking responsibility and being determined to continue with integrity. Doing so will provide a sure foundation for staying sober.