Lies are Relapse Fuel
We usually write articles about what family members can do to improve the chances of their loved ones staying sober. However, this article is directed at those struggling with addiction, how something that may seem harmless to them can lead down a road to utter destruction.
When in recovery, especially in the early steps, relapse is a genuine danger. The most common problem I see those early on in the recovery process run into is continuing to be dishonest. Compulsive lying begins most when an individual is using drugs and can easily continue once a person gets sober. Understanding why this is so detrimental may help many of those early on avoid one of the biggest pitfalls they will face.
See, people, when they are using, know that getting caught could have negative consequences. Fighting with a family member, going to jail, or losing an opportunity in their life. This is why they begin to lie regularly. In their minds, they are protecting themselves and as irrational as it sounds, even protecting those they care for. They will keep this going as long as they can— however, breaking this habit is vital.
Lying is not unique to those with substance use problems. So everyone knows what happens when a person begins to lie about a part of their life. Many times it can snowball and cause the person who told the initial lie to continue lying to cover-up parts that don’t make sense. This is a slippery slope adding the stress of being caught and breaking trust with those you care about.
Perhaps even more dangerous is that many times those going through treatment will hold on to stories they have made up. Going into counseling and continuing to lie about the problems they have faced can destroy their chances of recovery.
Many addicts face severe trauma, and for most of them, this is a vital part of them continuing to struggle with addiction. These problems are further perpetuated when the person receiving drug or alcohol addiction treatment continues to be dishonest. For obvious reasons, this will go nowhere. Even the best counselor will be less effective if they are being told something that isn’t true. Honesty will go a long way towards you achieving your goals of getting your life back together.
A lot of this stems from feeling that when you enter treatment, it is you vs. them—the treatment center and its staff are against you. This starts off treatment on the wrong foot. When in reality, the team you are working with are there to help you achieve stability in your sobriety. In a perfect scenario, your relationship with the addiction treatment team is one of mutual trust. They are trusting that you will be honest so that the treatment will be effective. While you are trusting that they will help you achieve your goals and keep your information private.
This path of treatment you embark on will only be effective if you make up your mind, be honest, and work earnestly to improve your life. Excluding this, you will not get the benefits of your goals as the counseling will be done on things that are not real. A good program will help you through this process to regain your honesty with others, and most importantly yourself.
Be honest with those you work with, and you will reap the benefits of the work you do on your journey to long term recovery.