Some recent events surrounding my life have taken me down that old road asking What does it take to recover? I’m not just talking about recovery from addictions but recovery from everyday events. Simple things… like calling into work sick, but you were actually quite well. Teenagers who miss their curfew and come up with a story of a flat tire or something else.
The only way to recover from anything is by being honest. I had a conversation the other day at work about someone we both knew who was struggling with alcohol, drugs, and this persons role in society, the sad part is this person is a teenager. I was asked if I ever thought this person would change. I didn’t know why - but I said I couldn’t picture this person surviving in the “real” world.
This lady agreed with me, but added that she didn’t picture any change because the person could not stop lying. There it was plain and simple - lying. The one word that will destroy any chance of recovery from anything. You can not find humility and you must certainly can not find acceptance. If you lie you don’t have the back bone to tell your friends, you’re not going to live life like that anymore.
If you lie, you will never accept responsibility for your actions. Without responsibility you’ll always remain a victim and will always have the right to continue to fail.
My own experience with lying is that the amount of energy used to protect a lie can be overwhelming. Constantly on guard, constantly thinking about how to keep all those stories “in line.” The really scary part with lies, which this person is now mastering, is how fast they can be covered up with a new lie. And all these lies do is push people away. Until you’re trapped in a corner, with all your lies, all alone.
AA says that we need to admit that we have a problem. For me that is just part of it. With admittance comes acceptance. There is nothing you can do to change the problem - just accept it - and move on. Finally, with acceptance comes humility and the realization that it is OK to make a mistake. We’re only human. Be honest about the mistake, make amends and move on.
There is no place for lying in recovery. In fact, there is no place for lying in life. Lying just leads to deceit, manipulation, and ultimately spiritual death.