I don’t know what the reverse of a “catch-22” is officially called, but when it comes to honesty and sobriety, their relationship is a “reverse catch-22”. Being honest helps me to stay sober, and staying sober helps me to be honest.

There’s a saying, “All addicts are liars,” and while this certainly holds some truth, the fact is many addicts are generally honest people except when it comes to their addiction.

Shame and fear can turn an honest man into a liar pretty quickly.  

Rigorous honesty is a critical component of recovery. Working the 12 Steps helps us put this honesty into practice. We find a sponsor and are able to check in with them when we are in our middle circle. We make a “fearless and searching moral inventory” and then we share it with another person (Steps 4 and 5). We are honest about our character defects (Step 6) and we are honest about who we have hurt (Step 8). We look for dishonesty in ourselves with a daily inventory (Step 10).

With the help of a therapist, many of us disclose our behavior to our spouse or our family. We are honest about our family of origin as we dig into our own personal trauma. By doing these things with rigorous honesty, we learn to be honest about the things that we have hidden out of fear and shame for so long. And what is the result of working this program with rigorous honesty? Sobriety! 

And when we begin to become sober from our addiction, the things that we used to feel compelled to lie about are no longer a part of our life. Honesty comes easier to us and we learn to be comfortable in our own skin around others.

See? It’s a reverse Catch-22! When we are honest, we become sober, and when we are sober, we are more honest. May you find yourself in this reverse Catch-22 today!

-A grateful member of the Awaken community

Awaken is a Birmingham, AL based ministry walking with individuals, couples, and ministry leaders who have been impacted by sexual brokenness & addiction. Our goal is to help people experience hope, connection, and healing through the gospel and the recovery process. If you want to know more about Awaken or our resources, email us at info@awakenrecovery.com!