As Nicotine Addicts we are no different from any other Addicts in our deception and lack of honesty. It may be easier to see how a Drug Addict or an Alcoholic lies to his Family and Friends and most important HIMSELF but a Nicotine Addict is no less guilty!
I only really understood this once I was already on the road to Recovery. I was in such a habit of lying to myself that I couldn’t see what I was doing! I lied with sins of commission and also sins of omission Dishonesty had become a way of Life. I can hear myself right now proclaiming, “I don’t smoke much so it’s not all that bad!” “A little mouthwash and they’ll never know I smoke!” “I don’t spend much money on cigarettes.” “I’m not addicted – I can stop anytime.” Yadayadayada…….
The road to Recovery is the Road of TRUTH! Only when we come out into the light of Truth and admit our Addiction for the whole world to see can we obtain the true support of those who will be there for our Quit Journey. At the same time, those folks who are not supportive of our Quit will become obvious and we know where now to turn!
We will have to come to terms with some really challenging concepts: I am not self sustaining; I need help; I must learn how to handle my emotions, thoughts, and actions more maturely; I have sold myself short by trusting in a dead leaf wrapped in paper and dipped into thousands of chemicals; I even went so far as to believe that this inanimate object was in some way my “friend”; I shortchanged my real life friends, my family, and most important, myself!
There are a number of reasons why I was dishonest:
* I was afraid of the consequences of my actions and so I lied to protect myself.
* Lying is a habit. The more I did it the more I was likely to do it again. It is easy to slip into the habit of lying until dishonestly just becomes an almost automatic response.
* Being dishonest convinced me that I could secretly smoke and nobody would know. The problem is that the long-term consequences of dishonesty are almost always negative.
* I lied without even realizing it. This is because I was so self-deluded that I was unable to see the truth. Even though I have given up Sickerettes I can still become self-deluded again in the future.
Denying that you are a Smoker is not harmless or believable! Only after you quit smoking does the stench of Sickerettes become obvious. No amount of mouthwash, chewing gum or perfume is going to cover it up! No amount of denial is going to lessen the damage done to body, mind and spirit!
Dishonesty in recovery is dangerous because:
* It is a common relapse trigger. It means that the individual is returning to old ineffective coping strategies for dealing with life.
* The most common reason why people relapse after a period of smobriety is that they become stuck in recovery. This often happens because they have stopped being honest with themselves and other people. They feel unwilling to face a challenge on the path before them so they try to hide from it in denial. No further progress can occur until the individual can clearly acknowledge what the problem is and be willing to take action to remedy the situation.
* If friends and family find out about this dishonesty it can destroy any progress that has been made in rebuilding relationships.
* Dishonesty can lead to feelings of guilt afterwards. The individual who is dealing with too much guilt in recovery can find it hard to discover real happiness.
* It was the failure of the individual to be honest with themselves that kept them trapped in addiction. If they allow self deception to once again take hold of their life then they are likely to question the value of smobriety and the need to refrain from smoking.
* Honesty allows for healing of the individual and those close to them. If people continue to be dishonest then it means that this healing will not take place.
Honesty and openness must start from Day 1. I was a closet smoker but I had to tell everybody that I was truly a Secret Nicotine Addict who had decided to Recover. Much to my amazement and chagrin nobody was surprised by that - they already knew! Their noses told them!
Then things got harder! I had to be brutally honest with myself! I had to admit that I indeed need help! I brought myself to BecomeanEx and heard truths I didn’t want to hear – but I still listened! For Example, one puff sets you back to the beginning! Sneaking – which is a form of dishonesty – will not be tolerated! That’s not because of some hardcore policy. It’s because of the Law of Addiction:
“Administration of a drug to an addict will cause re-establishment of chemical dependence upon the addictive substance."
This is a natural Law just as much as the Law of Gravity!
I had to admit that I had been completely out of touch with my emotions. I had to relearn all of the reactions I had with the World and people which up to withdrawal I had hidden under a smoke cloud! I learned how I used smoking as an escape from dealing with my problems. I had to learn to live my Life on Life's terms!
Hard truths to swallow! But you know what? I value and have always valued Truth and Honesty! Now I can live clean of deception – neither fooling myself or others. I can be my authentic Self! That is, in my opinion, the Biggest Blessing of Recovery! The FREEDOM!
I no longer carry that unacknowledged shame and guilt of knowing that I’m doing wrong by my Creator, myself, and my loved ones! I have chosen to live in the Light of Truth! I live my Values, now! I act true to my beliefs!
Abundant Addiction FREE Life!
The greatest Gift I ever received from God! He always offers – I just had to say YES!