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Learning to Be Honest with Ourselves

Our experiences with addiction are full of the coping mechanisms we use in order to try to make things easier on ourselves, to try and escape our pain, to self-medicate and distract ourselves from the issues we feel are too painful to think about. Staying in denial and lying to ourselves are two of the most common ways in which we try to cope with our problems, and they can contribute to the development of our addictive patterns. As we live in denial about our addictions and continue to lie to ourselves, we turn to our drugs of choice to try and lessen the sting of the painful things we’re afraid to be honest about. When we lie to ourselves, it’s usually because we’re afraid to face the truth head on. We’ve become so accustomed to avoiding the truth, and we’ve turned away from the truth so many times, that it becomes second nature for us to be dishonest, both with ourselves and others. Some of us develop compulsive and pathological tendencies to lie, especially if we’re afraid of being judged, or if we’re afraid other people won’t love us anymore. Our defense mechanisms are our misguided attempts to protect ourselves from more pain, but we ultimately are detracting from our healing and creating more issues for ourselves to have to resolve.

Dishonesty Breeds Disconnection

When we aren’t honest with ourselves, we disconnect from the truth of who we are and therefore stunt our emotional intelligence and self-development. We block ourselves from really knowing who we are, because it is by moving through our issues and feeling our emotions that we connect with ourselves and become more familiar with ourselves. That is how we connect with our inner selves more deeply. When we lie to ourselves, we start to feel totally disconnected from ourselves, and this disconnection can result in feelings of depression and anxiety. We might feel guilty and ashamed of ourselves for the ways in which we’ve been dishonest. We might feel a great deal of regret for having lied to the people we care about. We might struggle to feel as though we know ourselves, or that we can even recognize ourselves, because our lives have been shrouded in doubt, dishonesty and avoidance. We hate ourselves for making our loved ones feel that they can’t trust us. We might struggle to stop lying, developing what feels like yet another addictive and compulsive behavior we can’t seem to quit.

Summoning Our Courage

Learning to be honest with ourselves means learning to summon the courage to confront our truth directly without trying to minimize or lessen it in any way. We learn that it is only by facing things head on and really allowing ourselves to feel them that we can move through them and heal from them. We discover that in order to heal ourselves, we have to feel the full weight of our emotions without trying to numb ourselves from them, distract ourselves from them, or lessen their blow by self-medicating. Our emotions can feel debilitating and overpowering, but as we become more comfortable allowing ourselves to feel them, we reclaim our power over our mental and emotional health. A huge part of healing from our mental health issues and developing emotional intelligence is being committed to being honest with ourselves.

Learning Self-Love

Being honest with ourselves means also learning to be so comfortable with our truth, no matter how difficult it might be, that we become unconditionally self-loving and self-accepting. Our tendencies to lie are often a result of our fears of inadequacy and unworthiness. We lie to bolster our case and prove a point. We lie to make ourselves feel better about ourselves. We lie to sway other people’s opinions of us because we want them to love and accept us. We lie to protect our self-image and reputation, afraid that the truth will cause people to reject us and turn their backs on us. The more we lie, the more we have to deal with the consequences of our dishonesty – remembering the different stories we’ve told and trying to keep them all straight, dealing with people’s inability to trust us, feeling paranoid we’ll be discovered and exposed for our lies. Learning to be honest with ourselves means realizing it’s actually much safer and much more comfortable, not to mention far more self-loving, to tell the truth. We get to develop our sense of self without anything to hide, without the false expectations we’re trying to live up to, without the nagging fear that who we really are will eventually come out and people will stop loving us as a result. When we embrace our truth, we start to really learn what it means to love ourselves, and that is when true healing becomes possible.

The Benefits of Doing the Work

It takes immense courage and inner strength to shed the habits we’ve developed, especially the destructive coping mechanisms and defense mechanisms we’ve created out of our pain. There is little more empowering than to finally embrace ourselves and our truth and to no longer be afraid of what that truth means for our lives. We benefit from healthier relationships with other people, and even more importantly, a healthier relationship with ourselves. We become more confident within ourselves, more at peace within ourselves, more centered, grounded and secure. We get to relax in who we are, instead of always feeling so much resistance towards ourselves. We learn to love ourselves including all of our perceived imperfections, including all the things we used to lie about, not despite them.

At The Guest House Ocala, our experience with addiction and recovery makes us uniquely poised to be able to understand the struggles you’re experiencing. We’re here to help.

Call 855-483-7800 today for more information on our treatment programs.

3230 Northeast 55th Avenue Silver Springs, FL 34488