The worst part of being an addict I think is the lies. Lies to others and the ones you tell yourself. Addiction is a disease that creates lies one after another. The lies perpetuate themselves to cause a snowball effect. No matter if you want to tell the truth, it seems like the lies just roll right off the tongue. People that aren’t addicted don’t really understand the reasons for all of the half-truths or the entire bold face lies.
I used to not understand, why in court, they would say, “do you promise to tell the truth, the whole truth so helps you God”. I thought the truth was always the whole truth until I started working with addicts. What I have learned is addicts tell true statements but not the whole truth. “I had to stop at the store and get gas, that’s why I’m late”. They fail to say that I stop to get gas, buy drugs, use the drugs, and then came home.
Lies to cover up addiction runs so deep that only an addict or a former addict can understand the craziness. Looking through the cabinet to find the only thing you don’t have, just to say "I want some spaghetti tonight for dinner but we don’t have any pasta or meat. I’m going to run to the store to get some stuff". Two hours later they return with just a package of meat, no pasta or sauce. When asked what took so long, the reply is, “you will never guess what happened to me, the store didn’t have any more pasta, the cashier at the register was taking so long, and it was a drug bust outside”. The person listening to this is wondering, why can't they just tell the truth.
Even though it could be easy to tell the truth but the guilt and shame is so overwhelming that the lie just feels better inside. Most addicts would like to tell the truth but they just can’t. It’s our duty on the receiving end to make them be honest in order to free them from this disease. I once had a friend that I called 5% because 95% percent of what he said was going to be a lie. If he said I went…… that was all I needed to hear because the rest of it was going to be false, an absolute lie. It was very sad.
People that lie on a regular basis don’t understand, every time they lie, they are giving away a piece of their integrity. Integrity can’t be taken away, it is given away. When you say you will stop by and you don’t, a little bit is gone. When you say you will help out and you don’t, a little more is given away. The problem then gets worse when mixed with addiction because it is given away much quicker. Most addicts give away most of their integrity to a point where they don’t care anymore. It doesn’t even matter to them anymore because no one believes them or trust them anyway. No one gives them responsibilities. No more keys to the house or car. You can’t even trust them to feed the pets when we are out of town.
It is a hard road back once you have gotten to this point but there is hope. The key is to stop giving away your integrity and start taking it back. One truth at a time, one follow through at a time, and one completed project at a time. If you say you are going to do it, then do it. No excuses. Get it done. Stop blaming, stop victimizing, and stop procrastinating. People are tired of hearing I'm sorry or the promises, keep your word. Be a promise keeper. Nothing is worse than a liar because if you are a liar people will assume you are theft and a cheat. No one trusts a slick individual, be transparent and open. Once you get some sober time in, you will see the trust start coming your way. Don’t rush it. It takes time, just like it took time for you to lose it. Don’t be angry with people because it’s not coming back as soon as you want it. It’s not on your time anymore. If someone ask you if you're high, why are your eyes red, why do you look sleepy, just answer the question and move on. Getting offended does nothing but move you closer to getting high and losing more of your integrity. Just another Nugget of Love.
Integrity- the quality of being honest and fair or the state of being complete or whole, undivided