Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tell the Truth

In dealing with alcoholism, there is a lot of dishonesty. I've been dishonest with myself for a long time because I tried to pretend that things were going well. People would ask me how things were going and I'd say that they were "fine". I think that sometimes I believed that things were going well because it was too hard to look at the truth.

And then there is my unwillingness to hurt others. I'd been hurt plenty but when it came to being brutally honest about my feelings, I found it difficult to slash and cut the other person. Every time that I did say words that wounded, I would end up feeling bad for days. So it was easier to believe that I didn't deserve any better or that to live with an illusion that some day things would improve.

Finally, as I got into Al-Anon, I could no longer deny the truth about the alcoholics in my life nor could I deny that I was sick too. The truth that I had been afraid to look at finally came out. I could no longer live an illusion that all was well.

When I did my fifth step, it was a relief to tell my sponsor things that I had not shared with anyone else. It was a chance to truly come clean and let it all out. Revealing my character defects felt good but those that are still hanging around in my psyche are the ones that continue to pain me.

I know that there are some truths that I'm not willing to act on yet. I'm avoiding a few things by not being totally truthful. And the best way to describe it is to offer another version of step nine: told the direct truth to persons except when to do so would injure them or others. My intentions are good, but like the saying goes, "the road to hell is paved with good intentions".

I'll keep praying to not be so willful and selfish so that the truth will finally set me free.


  1. Hi Syd - - -

    It is good to see that others share my own hesitance in coming forward with things - as in Step 5; however, I have learned that no where is it written that I must declare to 'the world' or all who are willing to listen to my woes my shortcomings. I followed the directions of Steps 4, 5, 8, and 9: Became willing, surrendered, listed, confessed, listed again, and carefully made amends to those I needed to come clean to - which did not mean hurting others' feelings, nor my own. Some amends are best kept between sponsor/sponsee - -- that is all step 5 requests: Tell myself, God, and another person (does not say any more than these 3). Step 9 takes a bit more time, and a lot more inventorying, since the amends conducted therein are NOT for the other person, but to clean my own house by admitting MY part in a situation and not pointing the accusatory finger!

    The pain I sense you feeling is a combination of fear and frustration. You have recognized this; now all that's left is to, live, live, live. Your spirituality will kick in when it is time for the Higher Power to present His way to you. Believe me, it will happen; but in His time! Good luck, God bless.
    Anonymous #1

  2. Doing the steps, and looking at doing them again next year, has been revealing in a way I never thought possible before AlAnon.

    And some sharing really has to be reflected on before it comes out.

  3. I don't think it's a coincidence that you just had a meeting about meditation. Hmmm. God cannot talk to us through all our minds chatter, which is full of all the "stuff" that has happened and is happening. I know I cannot change others at all. I know I can make chioces about how to deal with them. Sometimes the things I need to do are the hardest to do. I'm never really confused about it, I'm just not willing.Thank you for such an honest post! jeNN

  4. I think that God uses other people to say exactly what He wants me to hear. I needed to hear this today. As always, thank you!!

  5. Syd, You are the first blog I started reading. Thank you so much. I really feel that your words have helped me with my recovery over the last few months. For awhile all I could do was read... finally being able to comment and now I am brave enough to post myself.

    Thank you for awalys being honest. I so often read exactly what I need to hear. I heard a lot about gentleness here... realizing that recovery doesnt happen all at once. Thank you for that.


  6. Hi, Syd, I've seen you around on many of the blogs I follow. Always enjoy your humor. I came to AA through the backdoor - ACA, you see then It was their fault, not mine. Then I admitted I was an alcoholic and Voila SOBRIETY. Now that is MY story, not insinuating it is yours. I'll be stopping by in the now and then. You have a very powerful blog.

  7. Syd, I have yet to really hold onto step two so I am not one to talk about the steps... but I wanted you to know that the whole giving back thing in the program - you have done that tenfold in this blog and in your comments.

    Thank you for your honesty here and your willingness to be open.


  8. Wow, this is amazing to me truly, it is how I have felt too, there were so many things I just didn't wish to look at or for for so long that it just all got glossed over and was just that; dishonest.

    I really appreciate your blogs!
    Thank you,

  9. Hi Syd,

    A difficult and painful situation you have there. I think its for situations I find myself in, that God gave me meditation, time, a realisation that I had to take my eyes off me and focus them on him and steps 6 and 7 and the principles of AA. A mantra I say over and over. "Principles not personalities. Remember it's not them, It's me." You take good care of yourself Syd. You've become important in my daily life.

  10. Syd, my 5:30 PM meeting was on--YOU know!--Honesty!

    Well, I was a LIAR, and as our Big Book says, I lied when even the truth would have sufficed (not a direct quote, but close). I was lots of other things also.

    Even though my first attempts (last month) to join Alanon were "bad seed" stuff, I really appreciate reading the wise counceling you pass along to us from your Alanon membership experiences.

    Thank you, Syd, for that, and for your continuous 'comment' support

  11. Your post reminds me again how glad I am that it is progress, not perfection.

    As long as I stay willing to be as honest as I can be, God continues to reveal the truth to me.

    I have finally accepted (most of the time) that all this will happen in God's time, not mine.

  12. I completely understand.
    'Cause I'm there too.

  13. wow, yes, baby steps i think. honesty is the be all and end all. however, not all at once, not at the expense of others, be honest but do have considerations for anothers feelings... a delicate balance.

  14. Honesty is the best policy. Took a while to get there, though.

  15. Going from one extreme to the other, being totally open to being totally closed off, and somewhat realizing it causes me to feel uncomfortable in both. My honesty has become guarded, which it should be to some extent. And being honest with myself is just a slow process.

  16. I've thought about attending a meeting for years yet never complied out of a reluctance of wanting to confront the past.

    My father is an alcoholic etc. I remember when I was a little girl pacing the floor for hours repeating "dear God, please don't let my dad come home drunk" nearly 300 times. I hid everything throwable in my room. I cracked the window before I went to bed so I could escape, need be to get the police. It had happened before. Every nite I went to bed fully clothed with shoes on because of it. When he would finally stumble home, I'd lay down beside the heat register and listen, waiting to hear him start snoring- I knew it was safe to fall asleep then.

    Such a caretaker for the entire family. Yeah...I have a story to tell.

  17. Hi, Syd,
    Pleased to meet you. Though I would recognize the eyes of the madcap laugher anywhere. Yes, the lies. Have been saying things are fine to coworkers, family and friends for years. I decided recently to stop saying things are fine-at least not to everyone. I haven't started the steps yet. I on step 1 I suppose - admitting how unmanageable my life is.

  18. I am not as truthful with my loved ones as I used to be lately. I have not figured this one out yet.


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