The Power of Getting Honest and Regaining Trust

Happy friends after recovery

Lying is something that happens daily in people’s lives, whether it’s lying or being lied to, it’s all around in some form or another. When it comes to drug addicts, lying tends to be a lot more frequent. I was an addict and lying was a big part of my life. Whether it was a little white lie or a big lie that would cause havoc, lying was simply a part of who I was. At the time it masked the pain I would have gotten from telling the truth that I usually wasn’t proud of, just like drinking and doing drugs would. It was an easy way out of most predicaments with little thought given to the consequences.

It’s been said “to think before you do or say,” and impulsive behavior can result in telling a lie. The thing people, including myself as an addict, don’t realize is how much pain lying can cause and how important telling the truth and being honest is in order to live a healthy life. We mask our pain and emotions with drugs and alcohol. Lying to my family, telling them I had to pay a bill or whatnot in order to get money, was one I used frequently. Even if I did owe money for that bill, I was going to use that money for drugs or alcohol, and I knew it. Lies such as these begin one of the many terrible downward spirals an addict goes through while losing trust, the trust they once had with the people that love them the most in their lives. Honesty and trust, at least in my eyes, is the foundation of all relationships.

Once trust is lost it takes time and work to get it back, it must be earned. During my program, I never realized how much I lied and deceived people until I sat down and started writing it down. Once my body and mind began to heal from my addiction, I was able to reflect on all of the lies I had told in the past and the effects it had on me and more importantly, the people that had been negatively affected. The weight on my shoulders was unbearable, but as I began to write them down and gain responsibility, surprisingly it got lighter and lighter. Although the weight of lies got lighter it didn’t go away entirely. Now that I had them down on paper it was time to dissect them and fix them. One thing I noticed is that the people closest to me in my life, the ones I loved, were the main targets of my lies. I began to contact them, apologizing for the lies I had told, which gave me some sense of relief, but I knew there was more to it than just a simple apology. As a former addict, I thought maybe an apology would be enough to squash all those deceitful things I did and said, but I soon realized it was only a small step towards a bigger picture.

The question I had was, if it’s so easy to lie than why is it so hard to rebuild and regain trust? No matter which way I looked at this process, there was no shortcut to getting through it. I started to realize more and more how important trust was. A lie is like a virus spreading. One little lie can turn into more and more causing greater pain. Regaining trust takes time and effort in a gradual process. It can be very difficult to do, especially when it’s time to fess up. That is why it is so important to make good decisions and think before you act. If you fail to do that than it could leave you in a situation where there is a temptation to be dishonest, so it all starts with making good decisions and doing the right thing. Baby steps in regaining trust may seem like it will take forever, but the gratification of getting it back is something you can’t put a price on. Knowing that someone can count on you as being dependable and trustworthy even in the most difficult of situations is an enormous payback for just being honest and truthful.

The next time you think about telling a lie, fib, or whatever it is you want to call it, think about how it can affect you and the others around you. Telling the truth, especially while tempted to do otherwise, may cause brief pain, but in the long run, you will have the gratification of being trustworthy and dependable. Getting honest with myself and others played a big part in my ability to leave my addiction behind for good, and it can for you too. If you or anyone you know is seeking help, please reach out.

Chris G., Narconon Suncoast Graduate

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Justin has been working in the field of addiction and recovery for over 1 year. Justin earned his Bachelors's Degree in Finance from Florida State University. Having been an addict himself, he brings real-world experience to the table when helping addicts and their families, while also offering a first-person perspective to the current drug crisis. Justin is passionate about educating the public about what’s currently going on in our society, and thankfully, offers practical solutions.