Honesty. The Only Policy.

April 27, 2011

In addition to being honest, Abe also spit mad game, yo.

     If don’t start being honest, I will die, and probably sooner than later. I don’t know how to put a finer point on it. If I did I would. Without honesty, I will relapse and die from this disease. I can’t directly apply my free will to an addiction and expect to get a handle on it. That approach would be doomed from the start. But I can indirectly use my free will to tell the truth, and telling the truth can in turn tame my addiction.

   I’m not trying to play cute rhetorical games (maybe a little): this concept is the single most important thing for me to take away from treatment. I’ve been in active addiction for a long time. I do not have a habit of telling the truth. For an addict to continue using, they almost without exception create a world that is built on lies and deception. Sometimes the lies are overt, and sometimes the lies fall into a category we might call deception by omission. But a lie is a lie is a lie.

I cannot tell a lie: I CANNOT tell a lie.

   It’s interesting to me that we have two Presidents who are noted for their honesty. Out of 44. Come to think of it, that sounds about right, and not just because Presidents are by definition politicians (and politicians are by definition – you know – scum bags). I think people who strive for 100% honesty are the exception, not the rule. It’s just not a priority for most people, which is odd, because most people are revulsed by the idea of a perpetual liar. But most people are unconcerned with the concept of “little white lies.” I believe that in my post-treatment world, I can no longer indulge myself that distinction.

Does this make me look fat? Yes. Yes it does.

   Lying is an action that is rooted in one of two emotions, both of which are fatal to addicts: shame and fear. Every lie is the result of one or both of those emotions in some combination. I posit that shame and fear drive most, if not all, of the awful things human beings do to each other. Think about it. Except for the few that are rooted in anger (which almost singularly drives violence), nearly every other negative human action or emotion is borne out of fear or shame. Prejudice, envy, gluttony, gossip, sloth, judgmental-ism, stereotypes, xenophobia; even that dragnet of all negative human emotions – hate – is very often, if not always, rooted in fear or shame.

   So I’m going to take my cues from a character from the real Disney World, a character who sets an example from whom we addicts here in the Notdisneyworld Sober Ranch could all learn a thing or two. So much the more that he – like us – learned his lessons the hard way.

Pinocchio: providing pithy analogies since 1883.

3 Responses to “Honesty. The Only Policy.”

  1. jbily39 said

    And is shame simply the fear of being exposed for who we really are, ie. not measuring up?

  2. jbily39 said

    PS. This is a really insightful post. Thank you for writing.

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