Honesty does not come easy to everyone. There are many people who prefer to keep certain things quiet. Maybe it is because they were taught from a young age to always “keep up appearances”. Maybe they have learned through the years that it is best to put on a “mask” in front of family and friends in order to “appear” well-adjusted and happy. I was raised to believe this was the way to live. However, choosing to keep secrets can cause real harm. Honesty, it turns out, is the way to go if we are to have a sense of peace within.
Alcoholism and other addictions can truly hamper a person’s life to the point of bankruptcy – not just financially but physically, mentally, and spiritually as well. The first step to correcting this situation is to get honest and admit that there is a real problem. There is a phrase in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous (Chapter 5) which refers to alcohol as “cunning, baffling, and powerful”. If you or anyone you know suffers from an addiction of any kind, then you know that these words are true. You may not understand why you or a friend or a loved one is acting the way they are, but if they are caught up in the insanity of addiction, there may not be any logical explanation for the behavior being exhibited.
Getting honest may be very difficult for an alcoholic or an addict. It may mean they have to give up their substance or behavior of choice. If they are truly addicted, this is not an exciting prospect. Fear sets in and they may not be able to imagine life with or without their alcohol or drugs or gambling etc. This could bring on a feeling of hopelessness and despair; not knowing where to turn can be terrifying. Fortunately, there are many options available when it comes to getting the help necessary to break free from this terrible disease of addiction.
There are 12-step programs and rehab facilities throughout the world offering help to those suffering from the addiction nightmare. Churches offer programs and counseling to those affected by the disease. There are therapists and doctors who specialize in treating people who suffer from alcoholism and drug addiction. There are even life coaches who specialize in “recovery coaching” – helping those in recovery to realize that life does not have to end simply because their partying days are over. All of this help (and much more) is readily available to those who want it. All that is needed is the courage to get honest and admit there is a problem.
Ultimately, honesty is the key to taking the first steps to recovery. It may seem scary and it may seem impossible, but it is the best way to get the help needed to turn one’s life around. I know of many wonderful people who felt hopeless and lost before they got sober. They always tell me the same thing – once they admitted complete defeat (Twelve Steps, Twelve Traditions) they were able to start recovering from the despair they felt every day. There are many methods to getting sober, but starting with the principle of honesty makes for a great beginning.