Honesty and Embarrassment

I’ve never been an especially honest person, outside of this blog, which no one I know in real life reads. I don’t steal from people or pretend my dad is in the CIA or anything. I tell the little lies that smooth things over; my specialty is lies of omission, pretending I’m fine, pretending I’m normal.

I’ve been thinking about past relapses and how they happened. I think a big part of the problem is that I was hellbent on going it alone. I didn’t want anyone to know that I was a drunk or that I was becoming one of those twelve-stepping geeks. There was an element of shame there, sure – I didn’t want to be defective or a failure. But the overwhelming emotion I felt when I hid my Big Book in my room or lied about my plans when I had a meeting to get to was plain, simple embarrassment.

I know I need to do things differently this time. The root of embarrassment is pride, and combating overwhelming pride is an important part of staying sober. But more than that, I’m just sick of this. I’m sick of pretending that I’m not in an outpatient program and that I don’t go to meetings and that I’ve never been sick or weird in my life. I’m sick of feeling awkward and coming up with some fib whenever someone offers me a drink. The people I admire are the people who can state who they are and where they are in life without worrying about everyone else’s judgment.

I can handle some temporary embarrassment.

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