The Importance of Honesty in Recovery
Admitting that you are struggling with an addiction or mental health issue is one of the hardest things you will ever do. Once you admit to yourself, it also means that you will need to admit to others that you have these issues and need help to overcome them.
Dishonesty is all too common among addicts and those with a mental health condition – most of the time it’s about the denial that you have an issue or need help. For some, it could also extend into lies they have told friends and family, i.e. lying about how much they have been using or how much they have spent.
When you first enter recovery, you can begin being more honest with yourself by examining how much you truly use, making a list of how it has affected your life, totaling up how much you have spent, and paying attention to what your loved ones say about your mental health illness or substance abuse. During this time of reflection, you may also want to think about how you have been dishonest to others while in the throes of your addiction or mental health condition.
Lying enables addicts to escape the consequences of their behavior, for a little while. Achieving sobriety requires complete honesty. Even the smallest fib, whether to yourself, a friend, a family, or a counselor, can set you on a path toward relapse.
By being honest with yourself, you are no longer living in a state of denial and can face the world as it exists – without the escape of substances or other behaviors. You will be more adept at handling uncomfortable realities and hardships when you do so honestly and earnestly.
The Dangers of Dishonesty
Research has suggested that lying can actually impact your health. Research results from a psychology professor at the University of Notre Dame revealed that lying can trigger the release of stress hormones, which can increase your heart rate and blood pressure. Stress can reduce your body’s blood cells, which over time, could contribute to lower back pain, tension headaches, menstrual problems, and more.
Not being honest with yourself about your addiction or mental health can lead to further harm for you and those around you. Addiction tends to be progressive, which means it will continue to get worse over time. Even after you complete a recovery program, it is important to continue being honest with yourself. When you need help, reach out to a trusted confidant or your sponsor, attend a counseling session or a meeting to help you stay on the right path. Being dishonest about needing help can make the recovery process not only harder but also lonelier.
Being honest with yourself about your addictions or mental health can help you move forward in recovery and make the changes necessary to improve your life.