Practicing Honesty in Sobriety

Today we’re going to talk about what it means to have honesty in sobriety, or to be honest any time, for that matter. When you thought of honesty,  your thoughts went to stealing or telling lies, right? If you don’t steal and lie, you are honest, right? Possibly. Possibly not.

It depends. Are you practicing honesty in your sobriety about your feelings and about who you are? It is easy, even in sobriety, to not be honest, to not tell the truth about your feelings, to not speak up for yourself when needed. Honesty means owning your bad behavior… identifying and taking responsibility for it by apologizing if you hurt someone.

How can you know if you are being honest? Well, you can ask yourself these questions… “When I am feeling badly, do I say that, or do I say, in a huff, ‘I’m fine?'” If you say you’re fine when you’re not, you are not practicing honesty in sobriety because you are not saying what is true for you in that moment.

You can ask, “When I have intentionally, or even unintentionally, hurt someone else, am I apologizing for what I said or did… am I taking responsibility for my bad or hurtful behavior?” If you apologize in these situations, then you are showing honesty in sobriety because you are sharing your feelings of remorse, you are being honest about what you are feeling in the moment.

Honesty in sobriety is all about unveiling who you are at your core. It is about who and what you are in each moment. For example, I spent the majority of my life being dishonest. Oh, I didn’t cheat and only told a few lies here and there to protect others, but I considered myself honest. Then, I had to look differently when I got sober and I re-assessed my honesty in sobriety.

I discovered many things. First, when I was hurting or hurt, I did not relay that to the other person, thinking I it was better not to hurt the other person or to bother them. The thing is, the energy behind that deception came out in other ways, usually by being a bit standoffish in my approach to them, or making snide comments to them. Being passively aggressive. Whoa! It’s embarrassing to admit that, but it was true.

The fact is, I was not relaying my true feelings because of fear. I was afraid that if I displayed honesty in sobriety, then the person would get mad at me and harm me in some way because of that anger. Now, I find myself learning to tell others how I am feeling in the moment, and I say it especially gently if I think it will be difficult for the other person to hear.

That’s just one example of how to practice honesty in sobriety. I could go on, yet I’m sure you get the gist and my point. In case I didn’t make my point, it is that you can be ever-aware of your feelings and relay them to others when they occur. First, however, you need look at what is behind those feelings. If what you discover is something that will not harm the other to divulge, then be honest with them about what you are feelings.

If. on the other hand, you discover a personal problem or issue, then you will not want to tell the person your feelings. For example, someone said something that hurts your feelings and you, upon reflection, realize your old wound of feeling “less than” was triggered. You can consider that the hurtful comment was not said to harm you, and you were sensitive it to it because of your wound; you can consider not saying anything. You can also consider saying to them that an old wound was touched when they said what they said, and that you are having difficulty dealing with it.

By divulging that much about yourself, you open the way to share your honesty in sobriety, to share who you are at a deep level, and you further the relationship’s deepening with your action. That is practicing honesty in sobriety at its deepest level.

How do you display your honesty in sobriety? Leave a comment and let us know.

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