The perpetual need to lie is usually a staple in an addicts life. If you have ever known an individual that is dependent on drugs or alcohol, you most likely picked up on their habits by using your own observation and intuition. That is to say, addicts don’t typically come right out to admit that they have a problem; at least not until they are ready to get help from an inpatient drug rehab. In contrast to an addict that compulsively conceals and denies, someone moving through recovery recognizes that transparency and honesty is crucial in order to obtain and maintain sobriety.
Why Addicts Lie
Even though addicts might clearly see the hurt dishonesty can cause people around them, they need to lie for a number of reasons. Their denial can often lead to a skewed perception, making it possible to keep their life relatively intact. Lies eventually become what lets them keep their habit, while also avoiding stigmatization of friends and family. The reality of their condition becomes blurred because of the fantasy world they have built out of the half-truths and complete lies even they believe, they can not differentiate the true from the false. The desire to feel important combined with the fear of being rejected will leave an addict feeling like there are no other options. The truth is many times more painful than the lie and most addicts feel that they are have gone too far down to change their ways now.
The Moment of Truth
When an addict decides to come to grips with the devastation their substance abuse is causing, that is when they show the first signs of hope. For many, relief from having to keep up a facade is the very thing that attracts them to an addiction treatment center. However, if the practice of honesty is not practiced diligently throughout the recovery process, destructive lies can linger long after getting sober. The addict finds it more difficult to live life clean and sober using the behaviors they had to use in the past. Relapse usually follows if an addict can not be completely honest with themselves and others.
How Honest Is Honest Enough?
It is not enough to try to be honest, or to tell just half-truths. The kind of honesty that maintains sobriety is when you tell the truth even when it would be much easier to lie. Even if there are looming consequences that threaten to damage your pride or cause people to reject you. Recovering addicts need to practice this kind of transparency with whoever they are speaking with. That means friends, therapist, peers, family counseling sessions, and so on. Honesty must be rooted in all areas of life.
While truth is imperative for a successful recovery, it isn’t some magical potion that will erase all the problems that have to be dealt with. People are not perfect, and whether you are or aren’t an addict, to say you will never tell a lie would be unrealistic. In our humanness, we will make mistakes even when we have the best intentions in mind.