The alcoholic starts with small lies: I only had a couple; the meeting ran overtime. The lies then progress to deceptive behaviors: hiding bottles in closets, even toilets; breaking appointments with false excuses. As those close to the alcoholic learn he or she can’t be counted on, they not only withdraw their trust, they begin to live as if the alcoholic isn’t present at all, or they alter their behaviors in unhealthy ways, themselves.
Modern day alcohol treatment centers bring a wealth of knowledge not only geared toward recognizing the tell-tale lies and deceptive behaviors symptomatic of the disease, but an awareness of the importance of honesty in its many forms. It starts with the admission of the clearest truth of all: that the alcoholic is powerless over alcohol and that his or her life has become unmanageable. This is a fact that, by the time the alcoholic reaches treatment, is clear to just about everyone in his or her life but the alcoholic.
When the alcoholic finally confronts these facts and admits the need for help, the real work begins. It is work that helps alcoholics in recovery understand not just the importance of telling the truth to those the love, but telling the truth to themselves. Says Connie P. of Long Island: “I realized that lies to others couldn’t be denied in the mirror. It never lied, and to live with myself I had to come clean; my life depended on it. But it took time. I told everyone the New York drug rehab center I first went to ‘didn’t work,’ like it was their fault I lied. I said the same thing about rehab Philadelphia. It wasn’t until I did Columbia rehab, in Ohio, that I realized I’d wasted twenty years lying to myself. And that those were the most damaging of all.”
An alcoholic’s willingness to be honest in sharing how they feel about themselves and others, how they have lied to themselves in the past, helps them learn that honestly sharing with others frees them from the need to constantly monitor their own memories, recall what was said to whom, and in the process learn the freedom that is possible with truth. Connie again: “I just was so happy to realize I didn’t have to remember all my lies. The truth is just so much easier. Magically, that’s when the craving stopped.”
Twelve Palms Recovery Center, a unique example of compassionate alcohol treatment centers, focuses their efforts on the individual. They also emphasize the importance of the 12-step model by not only encouraging AA attendance, but hosting AA meetings, as well. For additional information call 866-331-6779 any time, 24 hours a day.