It’s a hard truth to swallow but, as an addict, you’ve probably hurt someone in your past because of your addiction. Addicts put their addiction first and manipulate and lie to the people around them in the process. Making amends for your lies is one of the most important things you can do to help the people in your life accept your recovery and forgive you for the hurt they’ve experienced.
Why do addicts lie?
Drugs and alcohol affect the brain’s ability to function properly. More specifically, they inhibit the brain’s ability to think objectively and respond analytically. So, while under the influence of an illicit substance, you might have regularly lied to your wife about using and weren’t able to see the effect it had on her. Addiction can also cause a person to see their drug of choice as the only thing they need to survive. Therefore, addicts will do anything to get that drug, including lie. The lies then lead to guilt during the times that an addict is sober or aware of his or her situation. That guilt is a burden that the addict cannot bear to face, thus adding to their need to use. It’s all one big cycle.
Common Lies an Addict Tells
- I’m not high.
- I never got the money you gave me.
- I haven’t used in a week.
- The money went toward the bills.
- My friend left these bottles here.
- I only had one drink.
How to Start Mending the Lies
Help yourself first. The first step to mending the hurt that lying has caused is to actually admit to having hurt other people. You can’t make amends with other people if you don’t first make yourself available to the pain. Facing the realization and the consequential guilt of your lies will help you mend yourself so that you can then start healing your relationships.
Self-deprecation won’t help anyone. It’s difficult for anyone to admit that they were wrong, especially after any amount of time submitting to the bad habits substance abuse has built. But it’s important to not tear yourself down because of your wrongs in the recovery process. Address the fact that you’ve hurt someone, talk to them about it honestly, and make amends without being self-deprecating.
“Sorry” isn’t enough. Saying sorry might seem like the right thing to do when you know you’ve hurt someone. But apologizing is only a temporary and superficial fix. Amends should go deeper than that. Try instead to admit what you did wrong and then make a commitment to working on bettering yourself for the present and future rather than merely saying you’re sorry for the past.
Find a support group. Try a 12 Step Program if you need help or guidance working out your extended recovery. Steps Eight and Nine in the Alcoholics Anonymous 12 Step program are devoted to making amends to others. You can get insight from others in the program if you’re struggling.
Mending your lies and rebuilding relationships is a crucial part of recovery. But you can’t get to that point until you’re ready to start your recovery journey. If you or someone you know are ready to get help, call our addiction specialist at: 855-737-7363