Addiction thrives on denial and deception, on anything that clouds the truth about your internal tensions and self-destructive habits. As an addict, you are used to lying to others about what you are doing, and hiding your substance use from others.
Even more destructive is the lying that you do to yourself, failing to realize the extent to which your addiction has become destructive or outside anything you can control. For that reason, a large part of your process of recovery is learning how to know and tell the truth about your struggles.
Learning how to not sugar-coat or hide the truth is an essential first step. Recovery from addiction can often be a very hard process, filled with many challenges and days in which going about life can sometimes feel like a very difficult challenge.
Yet, by speaking those challenges to others, we can make it more bearable, and open ourselves up to receiving advice and encouragement from others who have faced similar issues. That is why it is so important to find a peer support group, sponsor, or counselor who can both challenge you to reveal and confront your truth, to see your struggles the way they truthfully are.
Here are some reasons why speaking openly about your struggles can be such an important part of recovery.
Learn how to understand your emotions by expressing them
Many people try to keep negative emotions bottled up inside, spending all their energy letting those thoughts run around like a hamster in a wheel, until they become all-consumed with worry, anger, shame, or grief so the emotion feels unescable. The best way to get out of this trap, is to talk through your emotions, speaking honestly and vulnerably about what is really going on within you.
Only then will you be able to confront the struggles of your addiction. One common expression among people in recovery is "my best thinking got me where I am."
In other words, spending all your time in your own head will only sustain your addiction. You must make the difficult move to admit that life can be hard sometimes, and that you need help in order to make it.
The importance of a safe place where you will be heard
One of the central reasons people fail to experience the life-giving power of speaking through their struggles is fear of other people. Whether it's fear they will be judged, or fear we won't be understood, fear keeps us from opening ourselves to other people.
Of course, not everyone is meant to be trusted with your story. There are some who will take advantage of you, stop wanting to be around you, or react in unhelpful ways, and revealing your story to them can do more harm than good.
It is vitally important that you find people who are able to honor your story, to listen and support you, and respond with grace and true helpfulness. You want to look for people who can listen to you respectfully, and slowly work with them, as together, you work through uncovering your true self.
Confronting yourself to be truthful
Defensiveness and denial promote addiction and so recovery means learning how to express the truth. Support groups can be a very important way to connect with other people and built up a support network, but you will only benefit from the group or program based on what you put into it.
Simply coasting through, continuing to lie or speak superficially will not be fruitful in helping you get the help you need. Rather, you must learn to practice being as honest and truthful as possible, unafraid of saying when things are hard.
Although that will feel very hard at first, it is the only way to truly have a lasting recovery.