We use all sorts of techniques to keep ourselves from feeling judged for our addictions. We wear masks throughout our day-to-day interactions, doing our best to keep others from seeing the suffering and desperation we feel internally. Eventually, we begin deceiving ourselves and others by playing roles that do not accurately reflect who we truly are. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous explains, “More than most people, the alcoholic leads a double life. He is very much the actor. To the outer world he presents his stage character. This is the one he likes his fellows to see. He wants to enjoy a certain reputation, but knows in his heart he doesn’t deserve it.” Playing these roles creates an internal conflict between who we are and who we want others to see. Rather than addressing the root causes of why we do not feel comfortable with ourselves, we throw ourselves more and more into the character that we are choosing to play. The internal conflict is made worse by our constant attempts to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol, pushing us deeper into a cycle of drug abuse and fear, with each one exacerbating the other and so on. In recovery, we focus on living a life of rigorous honesty. Honesty as a spiritual principle in recovery does not only refer to our interactions with others, but also with ourselves. We stop trying to assert control over the rest of the world through lies and manipulation, and instead learn to accept the things we cannot change. We accept ourselves and our disease, which, in turn, allows us to move away from the internal strife that has been pulling us deeper into addiction. We take off our masks and stop playing various characters in an attempt to find a sense of harmony and serenity within ourselves. The process is not easy, as many of us are unfamiliar with our true selves after having played roles for such a long time. Eventually, by practicing principles of honesty and acceptance, we can finally achieve a sense of peace and serenity that we have longed for, but always seemed out of our reach.
Your story can become one of hope, faith, and courage. Addiction doesn’t have to control your life, you can make the decision to seek help today and achieve sobriety. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment facility in Orange County, California, offers the opportunity to recover from addiction and alcoholism in a beautiful beachfront environment. For more information about Residential Treatment and other individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777