The Case for Honesty

Truth is truth. Millions of people can attest to the fact that the AA program works just as well for those who are stuck in life as it does for alcoholics stuck in addiction.But there is one important prerequisite and not all who try this simple program of recovery will succeed.

Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. ~AA p 58

There you have it: honesty with yourself. Do you know how honest you are with yourself? It is my experience that the people who have serenity and peace also have a heightened perception of their reality.

Before taking the steps, I had no idea how dishonest I was being in my life. In fact I would have said that I had more integrity than anyone else I knew! Those who know me well would laugh. We are not the best judge of ourselves and our motives. That is why Step One in the program of AA is the first step. Without honesty there’s no point in doing anything else. So all we need is the willingness to be honest and let God take it from there. Are you willing?

Before we go any further I want you to know that, as Bill says, some people are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. That’s a fact. I’ve seen it and it breaks my heart. I believe if you have the ability to be honest with yourself, you are blessed. It is a gift when it happens. It’s not guaranteed.

AA’s 12 step program isn’t a self-help. I got rid of my whole self-help library when I got into recovery. The solutions are God-centered, not me-centered. Me centered? I tried that. It didn’t work.

This is the first step, according to AA:

We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable. ~ Alcoholics Anonymous, 2012,  p 59

There are various paths that lead people to the Steps. I don’t know what yours has been or why you read my blog, but I do know that the steps are a way to climb out of hopeless situations. My passion for the program keeps me blogging.

Bill writes on page 8 in his story, No words can tell of the loneliness and despair I found in that bitter morass of self-pity. Quicksand stretched around me in all directions. I had met my match. I had been overwhelmed.

What has you overwhelmed? You don’t have to be an addict. Perhaps you’ve run out of steam, the ability to cope. Are you lonely? Do you feel confused and hopeless? Are you in a situation where quicksand is around you in all directions? Are you bottomed out? When at the bottom, the only way to go is up—up the Steps.