The Honesty Imperative

by Joshua Hoe

Cleaning up your pile of guilt
Starting to clean up your pile of guilt

Someone was talking about honesty and lying at a meeting recently…

I remember sitting in group therapy sharing things that were 100% true but being genuinely shocked hearing them coming out of my own mouth…

Why would telling the truth seem so bizarre?

Because I had been lying to myself for so long I had almost forgotten what my own truth sounded like.

That’s when you know you have a problem

So, the first thing I thought when this person was talking about honesty…I am capable of an almost unbelievable and super-human ability to bullshit myself.

The second thing I thought was how much easier my life has been since I stopped lying to myself and others.

I used to have to somehow keep my stories straight, stress about being found out by any number of people, stress about betraying people’s trust…and then there is the living with all the guilt from the lies.

I am not a very mystical person, but I do believe we come pre-programmed with a moral compass. I believe it actually makes me feel bad to do bad. My justifications and self-lies might enable me to do things that I know are wrong…but in the end I am still miserable.

I would talk myself into acting out or cheating or something I knew I should not do…usually feel like a robot during the acting out of bad behavior and then be even more miserable after.

All that lying got me nothing but stress, sadness, and guilt.

Make a clean break with the lying if you can, it really changed my life and made me a much happier and better person.

How have you dealt with your own lying? Has it worn you down and depressed you like it did me? Would love to hear your comments!

As always, we do not identify ourselves with any particular program or organization and we hold no leadership role in any particular program or organization. We are not therapists and do not pretend to be. The purpose of this blog is to share experience, strength, hope across the recovery community.

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