By Dana M. - For Lakewood Recovery - Dallas's Sober living for professionals in recovery

My last two blog posts discuss the overlapping concepts of “unmanageability” and “powerlessness” as they relate to Step 1 of the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. But perhaps more important than understanding such concepts is our honest recognition of them in our daily lives. We must look ourselves squarely in the eye, admitting that we have a problem with drugs and/or alcohol, or we may never receive the help we need to stay sober. We may lose our health, our sanity, or our freedom…maybe even all three. To me, Step 1 is all about honesty.

During my active addiction, dishonesty was as constant as breathing. I subsisted every hour of every day on lies and manipulation. I obviously lied to others about my alcohol and drug consumption… but more fatal than that, I lied to myself about how bad it had gotten. Somehow, I had successfully convinced myself that being constantly inebriated was somehow normal, and that I wasn’t physically capable of lasting even one day sober without going absolutely crazy.

Denial can be just as powerful as any drug. When I could no longer deny that my lies had become so pathetic that they were almost laughable. That I had a web of lies on top of other lies I could not keep track of. When I could not differentiate the true from the false, I began to experience an overwhelming sense of sadness… and then, relief! 

For me, this surprising feeling of relief came when I had reached my ultimate bottom; when I had nowhere else to go. I didn’t want to live anymore...but most importantly, I didn’t want to die a lying, scheming low-life. I had to fully concede to my innermost self that I was an alcoholic to save my own life – plain and simple. Then, I had to be willing to accept help; clearly I couldn’t do it on my own. It was such a relief to finally tell the truth!

I don’t subsist on dishonesty like I once did. I don’t need to cover-up or “drink away” my guilt from all the lies… there simply aren’t as many of them anymore! Attempting to center my life in truth means that I MUST surround myself with people who help keep me honest, like Zach Rakusin from Lakewood Recovery. Hopefully this post inspires you to seek honesty in your life, whether you’re just now taking Step 1, or whether you’re seeking a community of individuals like Zach who can help you work an honest program.