Getting sober is more than just putting down the bottle or the needle, we must change all of our thoughts and behaviors if we are to achieve lasting recovery. One important behavior pattern we must work diligently to change is our instinct for deceit. In our active addiction, deception and obfuscation were favored tools of the trade, enabling us to protect our substance abuse from unwanted scrutiny and providing a means to manipulate others so we could get what we needed to continue using. Now that you are working a program of recovery, it is imperative you set aside your skills of deceit and instead work on improving your ability to speak only the truth in your daily life.
For many of us, this is much easier said than done, as we have grown quite comfortable with the lies we tell ourselves and others each day. If you find yourself struggling to avoid responding to a query with an instinctively deceitful response, even if the truth would bring no burdensome consequence to you, do not despair for this is a more common problem than you may think. Try pausing before answering any questions, giving yourself time to review your response to ensure it is truthful before speaking. The more you resist your instinct to lie, the more this instinct will fade away and be replaced by one of honesty and integrity.
Others struggle with lies of omission in recovery - leaving facts unspoken when they should be shared with those around us. This is particularly dangerous for a person in early sobriety, as an inclination to keep a craving for your substance of choice a secret opens you up to a far greater potential for relapse. The best way to combat this urge to conceal the truth from others is through a routine of daily communication with your sponsor and sober supports. The more conversations you are having with those around you in recovery, the less able you will be to avoid disclosing what is going on in your life and in your mind. The first few weeks may be difficult for you, but as with anything in life the more we practice an action the more we improve in our performance!
Deception is a big part of our lives in active addiction, a destructive pattern of behavior that needs to be left behind along with our substance abuse. As with most of the work required in recovery, we will make mistakes early on and fall far short of perfection. The important thing is you maintain your commitment to strive for rigorous honesty in your life and your communication with others, correcting any deceitful thoughts or words you express as you go about your day. So long as you consistently put forth effort to resist your instinct for dishonesty, your thought and behavior patterns will shift to that of honesty and integrity, enabling you to continue to grow and thrive in sobriety!