The guilt was eating me up. I had gotten high again. It had been an incredibly long day preceeded by an even longer week. I had done everything everyone had expected me to do, my boss, my co-workers, my family, my church. Why did it have to be such a bad thing to do something for myself?
After all, God put marijuana here for a reason, right? Everything He created has some sort of purpose. Why does it have to be a sin to use it? And then on top of that, it is yet another sin to keep that information to myself.
As an addict in recovery, I wasn’t supposed to keep this little blip on the radar a secret. I wasn’t working the program if I didn’t tell everyone I screwed up. I no longer had any privacy.
My guilt was quickly turning into resentment.
The people at NA like to say, “You are only as sick as your secrets.” My secret had me sick with guilt. The realization that airing my dirty laundry was my only way out, made me feel even sicker.
So I called my sponsor. I didn’t really mind telling her that I fell off the wagon, because she’s been there herself and never judges me. It was then that I realized that I had a fear of how others would react to my current failure. It suddenly became clear that fear of judgement far outweighed the lack of privacy. Holding on to that resentment simply gave me an excuse to keep using.
Confessing with a pure heart, however, allowed me to release the guilt that was plaguing me, because my mistake was no longer holding me hostage. I was reaping the benefits of forgiveness, one of which was a greater level of intimacy with someone.
Holding in that secret acted on my body like a slow spreading poison, which made me want to dull that agonizing pain by numbing myself with drugs. Releasing it, on the other hand, gave me the opportunity to get well.
A little embarrassment far outweighs an emotional breakdown.
Admitting the truth, in my case, not only saved my sobriety, but it also benefited my marriage. My husband knows how difficult it is for me to recover from a relapse. Telling him I failed gives him the opportunity to accept me for who I am, and his hanging in there helps me to rebuild my self-esteem.
Another benefit of releasing those secrets is that it allows me to share my experience with others. This gets me out of my own head for awhile, which is good medicine.
And opening myself up to others helps them to release any worries they may have about getting rid of some toxic secrets they may have been carrying around. Total honesty with one another is a great trust-building exercise.
There are secrets, however, that may be hurtful to others, and we have to watch out for those. We don’t want to unburden ourselves at someone else’s expense. Even the Bible tells us that there is a time to be silent and a time to speak.
Many times, releasing secrets such as these to your significant other can ultimately make your relationship stronger. But there are also instances that while it may make you feel wonderful to purge your soul, it could be harmful to the other person. Counseling is always an option in those circumstances.
I find that living my life with good morals eliminates having something to hide. And that is where real freedom resides.
If you or someone you love is struggling with drug addiction or alcoholism, or you just have questions, please contact Lighthouse Treatment Center today. We are happy to provide a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced treatment advisors. Help is available today.