Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no-one is around.
Recovery happens in secret. For many years I put up a front when I got out of treatment. Everything was fine and I was now in recovery. How did I know that it wasn’t real ? I was not the same person when I was alone as when I was in public. There were times when I knew that I could get away with certain behaviours and I indulged in that. Then the next day I would go out a different person filled with guilt and shame. Something had to change this time. Covering my history with substance abuse was not enough. ALL my addictive behaviour had to be addressed. I learnt at Bethesda Addiction Recovery Centre that a new form of honesty had to be discovered if I really wanted to change. Acting one way on the outside wasn’t enough, I was doomed to fail. My insides and outsides have to match up in order for me to stay clean, because, just like recovery, relapse happens in secret. If I’m fearful when I hand someone my phone because there are things on it that I don’t want people to see, then something is wrong. If I don’t want people to go onto my computer because there are things that I hide, there is a problem.
Today I have no anxiety around this. People can go through my room, phone, computer and car. I know that nothing is hiding in the dark and I’m not ashamed of anything that I do.
Remaining honest and accountable is vital to integrity. Without it, I can easily get pulled back into the darkness and piece by piece the strong foundation on which I have built my recovery will be dismantled. There is no doubt in my mind around the certainty of this. Without inward honesty, I’m a relapse waiting to happen.
Lastly, having a close connection to God and doing what I believe is God’s will for me, I can’t be operating in secret and darkness. The God of my understanding is perfect in every way. He operates in love, fairness and compassion and never in secret and in darkness.
Step 3 – Prayer: God take my will and life, guide me in my recovery, and show me how to live. May your will be done, not my own.