Being Honest – 100% of the Time

by Joshua Hoe

Tree outside of my house
It’s cold outside

Honesty.

For me, one of my deepest fears has always been that people would finally know the “real” shameful me.

So, for decades I hid my acting out, and that hiding turned to acting out which turned to progressively more immoral forms of acting out.

But always in secret.

Until, all of a sudden, everything was out in the open.

Addicts Fear Discovery

I am kind of figuring out this subject as I go.

I believe deeply in rigorous honesty as the core of recovery.

I have tried to be 100% honest about my past, about my recent journey, and about who I am.

My “about me” page shares that I went to prison, many of my posts explain details, and my book tells the whole story.

So, I should be fine with someone else calling me out, right?

A few days ago, I posted something on another one of my properties trying to explain why factually a politician was wrong, and trying to show solidarity with the people who might be hurt by his statements.

A few minutes later, one of his supporters posted a link to the newspaper story about my arrest and my mug shot (isn’t it amazing how they always find the worst possible picture of you in the history of the world)?

I think the accompanying statement was, “Why would we want to learn from this guy.”

Break The Chains

Of course my first response was just to say, on the social media platform this person posted the information, that the picture was of me and that I try to be very open and honest about my past on all my blogs and on social media.

Part of me, however, wanted badly to say, you should learn from “that guy” because he has multiple degrees in political science.

But, I can’t do that, because I am who I am. All of it, the good and the bad.

Obviously, I would hope they learned all about me, or at least one or two other things about my life.

Nobody wants to be defined by the worst thing they have ever done in their life.

But mostly, I was just disappointed in myself for being afraid.

I never want to feel like I did in the worst days of my addiction again, scared to be open, scared to let anybody see me (and not the social mask I wore).

Maybe I will get there someday.

Felt like I should share that.

How do you deal with shame and fear? Do you have a hard time confronting your own fear of disclosure? Let me know, leave a comment!

2 thoughts on “Being Honest – 100% of the Time

  1. It wasn’t hard for me in the beginning because I was very open in my addiction. I felt as if I should be open in my recovery. Then I started a new job in the fall. I suddenly became very insecure and worried about my new coworkers discovering I was a former addict rebuilding my train wreck of a life.

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    1. Candace,

      Thanks so much for the thoughtful reply.

      One of my favorite sayings is “You don’t have to tell everyone everything, but you have to tell everything to someone.”

      If you have read the blog, you know I went to prison (rock bottom for me), I constantly worry about exactly the same “train wreck” effect.

      I think going through some of the exact same feelings you were describing motivated me to write the post. I feel like I was to be an entirely open book, but the exact same fears that surrounded my isolation and acting out lurk around my willingness to be open now.

      I am not sure there is a neat and clean answer, but, I do know I have to at least let someone know everything I am thinking and feeling (as it relates to both my history of addiction and any triggers or urges that I feel now).

      I try to act tough about it most of the time, but I feel the intense vulnerability you described many days. Even writing the blog posts can be scary.

      I am trying to accept my radical vulnerability instead of run from it or swallow it now.

      I hope you are doing really well in your recovery, and I really appreciate your comment!

      Thanks,

      Josh

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