Alright, last week we talked about one of the Four Absolutes, Purity. We had some interesting feedback and a nice chat, thanks for participating!
This time around as promised, I'll share my thoughts on Honesty. I can say that I wasn't terribly honest when I arrived in AA. I was lying to myself about my drinking, my drug use and how I lived my life in general. As a result, I was a drunk, stoned, irresponsible, miserable mess. Oh, and I was angry. So, I suppose that pretty well covers my honesty with others, lol.
As I came around to meetings, I began to hear things like "Stop lying to yourself." "The time you wasted at work was time stolen from your employer." "The time your spent indulging in your addictions and taking away from your family was theft." This didn't even address the stolen money and other material things. Oddly, as the fog lifted I was somewhat shocked to learn to what depths my dishonesty had permeated. I was in such a fog that I had no clue I'd been lying or acting dishonestly in so many aspects of my life (ironically, a part of, or function of my own dishonesty... we believe our own bullshit!)
AA taught me that my desire to drink was a mental obsession, a physical allergy and a spiritual illness. Part of the emotional and mental obsession is my dishonesty. I've learned that I can talk myself into just about anything, if I "let the tapes roll" long enough in my mind. I am a rationalizer (liar) and salesman (again, liar) by nature, by default. So now in recovery, knowing this about myself, I have to look at what I say and do very carefully through the lens of God's will for me. I have to take care to check my motives for doing things because I know it doesn't take much for subtle dishonesty to enter my thinking. Subtle dishonesty turns into less-less than-subtle, sobriety threatening dishonesty.
For me, dishonesty will eventually lead me back to active addiciton and alcoholism. Part of why I drank was to fill the "hole in my soul" caused by hurting, lying, lonliness, etc. So, if I can keep myself honest, I have a much better shot at staying sober and growing in recovery. I am not talking about the easy honesty, when someone gives me something that isn't mine and I return it. I am talking about blood and guts honesty about how I live my life. "Do I really know why I am trying to become friends with a partcular person? Am I using them? Am I hanging round this particular gal because she is attractive? Am I sharing at meetings because I really need to get something of my hest or am I talking to hear myself talk? Am I sharing with a newcomer to help them or to make myself appear wiser?"
These are the things that I thing of when I hear the word honesty. I know I could never possibly be perfectly honest in alll things, all the time. That's why honesty is listed among the Absolutes. Only God is absolutely honest. I can strive for that perfection and I should. But I have to be prepared for reality and my shortcomings. I have to accept myself and work to improve. For me, honesty is a sobriety threatening character issue. I must be vigilant for dishonesty or eventually return to that awful life of active alcoholism and addiction.
Give us your thoughts on honesty folks :-) Next time around, we'll hit unselfishness!