We often see two types of people in addiction recovery.
We see the person who wants to recover and will be rigorously honest with themselves and others as they work the program. But we also see the person who, even though they also desire recovery, does not yet have the capacity to be honest.
The second person often struggles with 12-step work or counseling. The importance of honesty in recovery is one of the fundamental keystones to overcome addiction. It takes honesty to accept and understand that you really have a problem. It takes honesty to see that you have lost the power to control the amount of alcohol or drugs you put in your body.
When participating in a 12-Step program, a sponsor will tell a newcomer that “rigorous honesty” is needed to recover from addiction. Honesty is printed 19 times in the book Alcoholics Anonymous and in the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. And, according to the Big Book, when doing a 12-step program, “Nothing counted but thoroughness and honesty.”
The importance of honesty in recovery is crucial.
No one likes to admit that they cannot drink or use drugs like “normal” people. The idea that you can learn to control and enjoy your drinking or drug use like other people has to be abandoned.
The importance of honesty in recovery often is a deciding factor on whether someone can live a successful sober life. The people who do not recover are often those who are incapable of being honest.
You always hear people say that the first step in recovery is admitting that you have a problem. But going to a recovery center or doing step work with a sponsor takes continued honesty. You need to be able to look at yourself and take stock of root causes and conditions that are leading to your drinking and drug use.