“The price of dishonesty is self-destruction.” Rita Mae Brown
I was a two-faced liar. When I entered into recovery, I soon became aware of how often I would lie. Dishonesty was almost second nature. In order to keep the addiction alive I had to remain undetected; that meant flying below the radar.
Lying took on many forms. Sometimes it meant racing home at dangerous speeds so I wouldn’t be late. Other times I had to make up a story about why I had to work late. I would stay up half the night and not be able to say why. And of course, hiding the evidence was almost a daily occurrence. You couldn’t smell my ‘drug’ so it was easier to hide than alcohol – but just as powerful.
An older member of our fellowship would often encourage us with these words: “Tell the truth, and tell it quickly.” If we were going to get better, we were going to have to be honest about everything. No holding back, no planning, and no acting out.
I had a tendency to remain isolated; even when I was home I was off doing something on my own. I remember not wanting to be with my family for long periods of time, and I could always find an excuse for wandering off by myself.
The addiction came first, so I would do what I had to do in order to keep it alive. My addiction became a priority because I needed to ‘use’ everyday. Each decision was weighed against the need to have my drug, to act out. But lying was taking its toll.
I found myself lying about all kinds of things. I would tell a lie when I really didn’t need to, even when I had nothing to hide. As my need to ‘use’ increased I became more irritable, and grew more and more distant. It was destroying my relationship with my family and affecting my performance at work.
Truth telling began the day I willingly went to a 12-Step meeting, admitting that I was powerless over my addiction. Each subsequent step required that I look at the truth more closely: the truth about myself, the truth about God, and the truth about my recovery.
Today I can truthfully say that I am powerless, and that my Higher Power is able to give me the strength to remain sober for one more day.
“You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”