The Importance of Honesty in Recovery

Honesty is a valuable characteristic which many people find admirable. Honesty isn’t just about being truthful. It’s about being your authentic self. Honest people are real and genuine. Honesty in recovery promotes openness and empowerment through being your authentic self. 

There are several reasons people who struggle with substance use disorder (SUD) lie. They may lie to friends and family to hide or downplay their addiction. They may also lie because they are in denial about how bad their habit is. However, it is possible to repair the damage of addiction through honesty and recovery. 

Honesty and Recovery: Dishonesty is a Common Trigger for Relapse

Lying often becomes a habit because of the fear of consequences. Although lying is a protective response, it is an unproductive coping method. While it’s normal to fear being caught in a lie, it’s important just to be honest. 

Without honesty in recovery, many people may relapse because of the guilt of lying. Keeping a journal, for example, can hold a person accountable for their honesty and recovery. It also helps understand when you struggle with honesty in recovery. 

Honesty in Recovery Brings Feelings of Freedom

People in active addiction are often trapped because of dishonesty. People in denial typically lack the motivation or encouragement to face their fears. Let’s face it, sometimes it is easier to hide from a challenge. But, without honesty in recovery, a person will never truly heal. 

It is also important to face each challenge as it comes. Therefore, recognizing the problem allows you to take action to solve it. While it can be challenging initially to manage life without drugs or alcohol, remember honesty in recovery breaks you free from the constraints of addiction. 

The Importance of Honesty in Recovery

Relationships Improve with Honesty and Recovery

The key to rebuilding relationships is honesty in recovery. The lies told in addiction can be devastating to friends and family. In addition, dishonesty hinders your recovery treatment. Your therapist can only track your progress when you are completely honest.

While in active addiction, it proves addiction is more important than your loved ones when you lie. Trust is generally not quickly rebuilt. However, through honesty in recovery, those you love will start to believe you again.

Maintaining Honesty in Recovery

To overcome a substance use disorder, you must be truthful about your difficulties and challenges. The biggest challenge in recovery is admitting you need help. And you have done that. However, now it’s time to face the truth of your situation. 

At the beginning of recovery specifically, you may wonder how you can continue being honest. But, it’s crucial to maintain honesty in recovery to prevent recurrence of use. Keep reading to learn different ways to maintain honesty in recovery.

Acknowledge your Emotions and Feelings

Experiencing feelings of self-doubt, shame, and guilt are common for people in recovery. Substance use disorder typically leaves people feeling hopeless, unworthy, and helpless. For this reason, negative emotions are common, specifically in early recovery. 

It is crucial to acknowledge your feelings as they come. Ignoring or suppressing your emotions leads to even more emotional pain and distress. However, once you acknowledge your emotions and feelings, they must be addressed. 

Addressing emotions and feelings can look different for different people. Some common ways to address your feelings include:

  • Writing in a journal
  • Discussing with your therapist
  • Be open in group therapy
  • Attend holistic therapies

Maintain a Commitment to Recovery

Frequently people in recovery experience a feeling of newfound freedom. For the most part, this freedom is a wonderful feeling. But, others may lose motivation for treatment. While some also feel they no longer need treatment. However, this is far from true. 

For success in recovery, you must keep your commitment to honesty and recovery. Whether you are just starting your recovery journey or have years in recovery, counseling and support groups are crucial.

One of the most effective tools in recovery is psychotherapy. You should always be present in therapy, whether you are new to recovery or alumni. Hold high your commitment to honesty and recovery. As a result, you will maintain healthy communication with others. 

Being held accountable will help you remain on your recovery track. While staying in therapy is one way of accountability, it also prevents relapse. While in therapy and involved in support groups, you continue building your honesty in recovery skills.

Be Honest with Loved Ones

Honesty and Recovery

When facing a difficult or awkward situation, people in recovery often avoid the truth. It can be particularly hard with faced with emotional hurt to your friends and family. It can be extremely challenging to address these issues. But honesty in recovery is imperative to rebuilding relationships with loved ones. 

Honesty in recovery includes your spouse, children, parents, siblings, and friends. It’s essential to be honest about your addiction and its impact on your life. Tell them what you have been through and what you are experiencing now. 

Your honesty in recovery and openness with loved ones can help close the gap between you. These behaviors also create open communication within these relationships. Your honesty with loved ones helps involve them in your new life.

Honesty in Recovery Includes Your Struggles and Mistakes

Relapse or recurrence of use is more than just the act of using drugs or alcohol. Relapse actually comes in stages. They include emotional and mental relapse. For this reason, honesty in recovery includes when you’re experiencing symptoms of mental or emotional relapse. 

If you come close to physically relapsing or you do relapse, it is crucial to seek help. It’s common in relapse to feel guilty and shameful. Nevertheless, you must reach out to your therapist or sponsor. You may also consider re-entering treatment. There is no room for shame as long as you remain committed to honesty and recovery.

The Risk of Relapse without Honesty in Recovery

Although honesty in early recovery is crucial to prevent recurrence of use, it is required to maintain Recovery for Life. Because relapse is more than just a physical act, honesty in recovery is crucial to uncover any emotional or mental symptoms of relapse. 

Emotional Relapse and Honesty in Recovery

The first stage of relapse is an emotional relapse. During this stage, you are not actively thinking about using drugs or alcohol. But, your behaviors and emotions can be leading you that way. 

Warning signs of emotional relapse include:

  • Bottling up emotions
  • Avoiding recovery support groups and therapy sessions
  • Isolating from friends and family
  • Change in eating habits
  • Poor sleeping habits
  • Not sharing at meetings
  • Avoiding your issues by focusing on others
  • Intolerance
  • Defensiveness

Honesty in recovery means admitting when you are in an emotional relapse. If you’re anxious, use deep breathing techniques. When you have denied an emotional relapse for a while, it can make you uncomfortable, restless, and irritable. But, sharing your feelings is crucial to prevent the recurrence of use. 

Maintain a Commitment to Recovery

Risking Mental Relapse Without Honesty and Recovery

If you ignore the signs and symptoms of emotional relapse, it increases your risk of mental relapse. Mental relapse is a war inside your mind – part of you wants to use, while part of you doesn’t. Without honesty in recovery, you are at high risk for physical relapse.

It is common to fantasize about using drugs and alcohol during a mental relapse. The longer you stay in the mental relapse stage, however, the lower your resistance to use. It is vital in this stage to talk to someone. 

And remember, there is a difference between a fleeting thought of use and considering actually using. Keeping your honesty in recovery commitment can keep these thoughts in check. 

Signs of mental relapse include:

  • Physical and mental cravings to use drugs or alcohol
  • Continually thinking about people, places, and things involved in substance use
  • Hanging out with the “wrong” friends
  • Glamorizing your past drug use
  • Lying
  • Thinking of ways to hide substance use
  • Imagining, fantasizing, and planning your relapse

Bargaining is a sign of relapse that can be seen in various forms, which include:

  • Giving yourself permission to use it on holidays and special occasions.
  • Thinking you can relapse periodically, for example, twice a year.
  • Believing you can switch one substance for another.

Suppose you are struggling with any of the above signs of recurrence of use or any other challenges; you must speak to someone. No one can maintain their recovery alone. Speak to your therapist or a trusted friend. Your honesty in recovery is vital to achieving Recovery for LIfe. 

Finding Recovery for Life at Sana Lake Behavioral Wellness Center

It can be challenging to maintain your honesty and recovery. Being truthful about your addiction struggles and the mistakes made during active addiction is the key to Recovery for Life. At Sana Lake BWC, once you are a member, you are always a member. If you or a loved one is struggling with maintaining honesty on recovery, we can help. Contact us today for help. 

References:

https://www.aacle.org/importance-honesty-recovery/