By: Marc McMahon
In the spirit of Recovery Unsensored celebrating its one year anniversary, and in light of the fact that I learned I could do this writing thing by doing one of the assignments that my I.O.P. counselor gave to me. I thought it may be appropriate to celebrate that year with another assignment given to me by my I.O.P. counselor (the same one as last year) but from this go around at attaining long-term sobriety.
I entered Outpatient treatment again one day a week so I could not only get my ass all the help he can but to be able to start seeing that same counselor again so it just all seems appropriate. Before we start though let me just get one thing off my chest here.
When I did my radio interview two weeks ago with Sober for life Radio a caller asked how long I had been clean and sober this go around and my reply was about half a year. They did not hear me the first time so the D.J. asked me again, “how long have you been clean and sober Marc they did not hear you the first time,” my response, 6 months!
That is not actually correct though, the truth of the matter is on the tenth of Aug. I will have 4 months of continuous sobriety, not the six months that I had advertised! Without having given it any thought at all when asked that question I immediately answered, with a lie!
Why? how come? I have given it a fair amount of thought and the answer is simple. I was embarrassed, ashamed, and apparently not as far a long in my recovery as I think I should be, or at least my conscious, ego, and pride are not satisfied with it!
What alarmed me was the fact that the lie came without thought or consideration, it just did and it has been gently gnawing at my insides ever since. I am coming clean with it just because it is the right, honest, and proper thing for me to do, and of course, because it will inevitably, make me feel better too. Probably the real reason why I’m coming clean knowing my addict mentality, because I get something out of it, God, I hate my addict, HATE IT!
I will be damned if I am going to let my overly sensitive self-image in early recovery allow me to skimp on the quality of ingredients that I put into the cement that is being used to build the foundation for this new life. I will not have it. So, fuck you Ego, there is a new sheriff in town and his name is Integrity and we are playing by his rules now!
In light of the fact that today is the new sheriffs first day on his new beat, we are going to make this article short and only about this topic and my next one will deal with my assignments that I was going to share here. I think there is a good lesson in this for me most definitely, but maybe somebody else can get something from it too.
That gnawing feeling that I mentioned earlier, the feeling that provoked me to come clean so to speak is a feeling that as an addict I am all too familiar with. One that given enough time will get absorbed into the storm drain of shit that constantly flows out from me when I am either in active addiction or clean and sober but demonstrating behaviors that mimic me in active addiction!
If I give it too much time my addict will be allowed to justify, then trick me into forgetting that I ever even lied at all. Or worse yet, rationalize in my mind that it was the right and needed thing to do therefore making it ok to do again if the situation calls for it.
That is a prime example of how my addict protects his investment in me. It is all a part of his grand relapse attack plan. You see I rationalize it to be ok, end up doing it again cause a similar situation occurred and it was ok last time. Next thing you know I have lied a handful of times in a short amount of time then my addict hits me with all that guilt and shame at once and has a grand opportunity to get me to get high to forget that feeling that makes me so mad at myself I want to vomit!
Overreacting you say? Mmm, maybe if I were in your shoes I might be, but you have never come face to face with a demon the size of mine in a dark alley. An alley with only one way out, past him. Usually out of sheer terror I think I relapse without ever trying to fight him because he is such an ominous site. This time I am calling me out on my lie and avoiding ever having to go into that alley at all. Whew, I am learning.
I may not be able to overpower my addiction alone, but with honesty, and willingness and the support of one who can teach me things about recovery I have yet to learn. I can change, and grow, and learn and get stronger and knock that son of a bitch addict one good time right in the damn mouth after I am done being honest! 🙂
Telling the truth about a mistake we made should not be a frightening thing, my friends. Addiction try’s to get us to believe that so we won’t. The fact of the matter is that telling the truth, walking with integrity and removing the poison we at times create within us as soon as it is noticed. Is one of the key components to remaining clean and sober and not relapsing every few months like I and many others tend to do.
I love you all, thank you for reading, I am a better man today because of all of you!
About the Author: Marc is a 48 yr. old Author, speaker, and soldier against the disease of addiction. He resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Marc’s hobbies include writing, Mt. biking, hiking, and drinking copious amounts of coffee. Marc is also the proud father, of one very outstanding young man. As Marc always likes to say “Be blessed, my friends.”