422 Practicing Honesty

”…sometimes the model of honesty…will do incredible things.” (AA 140)

We give up the right to continue practicing the diseased attitudes and actions … and give up our sick isolation.  Surrendering in this way brings us out into the light.  It is the acid test of our ability to be honest about ourselves.  If we cannot do this with another, how can we ever hope to have an honest confession or relation with our God? (SA 111)

As an addict, I was careful not to let others know who I really was – what I really thought and what I did.  In recovery, I learn to practice the opposite.  In Step One, I tell the group exactly the sexual behavior and lustful thinking that made my life unmanageable.  In Step Five, I share shameful details of my past with another person.  In my day-to-day life in recovery, I tell my SA brothers and sisters exactly where I am in recovery, where I’m making progress and where I am failing.  They support and encourage me, but only if I am honest with them.  Light kills lust.  Half-truths abort my recovery.  I discovered that secrecy is poisonous to sexaholics like me.  

Unlikely as it may sound, I have become grateful for opportunities to “tell on myself.”  I know I am not alone in this.  Many of my friends in SA report that we find this disclosure of embarrassing secrets to one another to be a wonderful basis for honest spiritual fellowship.  It is also the most effective antidote we know to the toxic shame that keeps us in bondage to lust.

Father, thank you for opportunities to “tell on myself” to other recovering sexaholics, thus eroding toxic shame that holds me in bondage.