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The Dangers of Lying in Recovery

The character Glaucon, in Plato’s The Republic, tells Socrates: “They say also that honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty.” In terms of short-term gain, this may be true in some cases. However, in recovery we can easily see how lies, even seemingly insignificant lies, can quickly lead us down a path that is at odds with the spiritual principles of recovery. Once we start going off the path of our recovery, we are taking backwards steps though bring us closer to relapse.  

Our lives in addiction we entirely dependent on short-term reward. We would drink or use drugs and feel better for a moment, only to find that our lives ultimately get much worse. Lying in sobriety is much the same way—we may be dishonest to our friends and loved ones once or twice, only to find that we quickly reenter the web of lies that defined our time in active addiction. Nearly any lie we tell others has a ripple effect that will inevitably lead to greater complications in the future, making the lie entirely more damaging that the short-term reward we received from it.

Ram Dass, in Be Here Now, wrote, “To lie to another person you have to see them as ‘him’ or ‘her’ or ‘them’, i.e., as an object. Such distance that the act of lying creates turns out in the long run to cost more than the lie gained for you in the first place. Once you understand the working of karma you see that there is no escape from the effects, both short and long-term, of your acts, i.e., acts done in the service of the ego.” When we think about, nearly all the lies we told were done in service of our ego. We wanted to protect our pride and diminish any feelings of shame and guilt, so we told people that we didn’t have a problem with drugs and alcohol or that we didn’t need treatment or recovery. Yet, it was only when we began to be rigorously honest that we felt peaceful and serene for the first time. Entering into recovery with a spirit of honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness is what set us free.

Your life doesn’t have to be held back by the chains of addiction. You can make the decision to seek help today and begin building a brighter future. Resilient House, located in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, brings together the highest quality behavioral health and addictions specialists, holistic experts, and spiritual guides to help clients develop all the tools necessary to achieve and maintain sobriety. For information about treatment options, please call today: (833) 242-6431