Rigorous honesty is something us alcoholics (and addicts) know absolutely NOTHING about. We never hurt anyone, we never do anything, we are always the victims. We lie, cheat, steal, manipulate and cause all this wreckage because “OTHERS” make us do it. We justify our every action and the saddest part is we actually believe our own bullshit. I’m not calling anyone out or throwing anyone under the bus. Nor am I passing judgment. For over twenty some odd years, I was one of those individuals. I was a walking tornado, wrecking everything and everyone in my path and I always justified my actions no matter how bad they were.
In order to obtain true sobriety of any kind, we have no choice but to face those demons, we have to look in the mirror and acknowledge the monsters our disease has caused us to become. We have to dig way down deep and face the reasons we became those monsters in the first place. That takes RIGOROUS HONESTY. For example, you can no longer say things like, “Yes, I stole her money, but it’s not like she needed it, and if I would’ve asked her, she would’ve said no.” Convincing yourself that your justification made it okay. You have to face the fact that you stole the money to feed your addiction and your actions were dead wrong.
This was a part of sobriety that I did not want to face. Not in the least. I felt that I was a victim my whole life and I really wasn’t as bad as everyone made me out to be. When I finally sat down and got honest with myself, I realized that I wasn’t as bad as everyone made me out to be, I was worse. I had been living a lie for 28 years or so and I got so good at it, I had no clue what was real and what wasn’t. I’ve lied, stolen, manipulated, caused irreversible pain to others and caused wreckage wherever I went. I also had to deal with things I’d been burying down deep my whole life which was the cause of my alcoholism and deal with them.
People who have met me in my sobriety can’t picture me doing the things I speak of, they see me as a positive thinking, inspirational kind of person. Maaaaaan Listen, I was the devil in disguise before I got sober. I thought only of myself and stepped on anyone who got in my way of getting what I wanted. Of course, I didn’t see it that way back then. I felt the world owed me and it was my God given right to take what I wanted, when I wanted it and it didn’t matter to me one bit who I had to crush in the process. Of course when I finally got honest with myself and I finally saw “me” the way others did, it shocked and disgusted me. It was then that I decided not only did I not want to drink anymore, but I didn’t want to be that person anymore. It was then that I became WILLING to do what I had to do to ensure that I would become the person I am still becoming today.
Is this phase of sobriety easy??? Hell no but it IS necessary and possible. It’s what separates the men from the boys or women from the girls. Real talk. If you can be completely honest with yourself and vanquish those demons, then your chances of never having to pick up another drink for the rest of your life will be extremely high. It’s easy for people who have significant sobriety time to talk about things like this and make it sound easy, but that’s because we’ve actually been through it and once we got out of our own way, things just seemed to fall into place ONE DAY AT A TIME. It’s not easy but anything worth having is worth working for.
July 1, 2014
AJ Menendez, Master Male Illusionist.