Let’s Be Honest…

Honestly Sober recovery alcoholism


Some of you readers have been kind enough to remark on the honesty i display in some of my blog posts, and for that i thank you.

It’s a little self serving of me to take any credit, however, because all i’m doing in being honest is following one of the basic tenets of the program. i’m just “developing a manner of living which requires rigorous honesty” [from “Chapter 5: How It Works” of the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book, page 58].

Rigorous Honesty means being so honest i don’t even lie to myself. This is the most difficult kind of honesty to foster because often my brain doesn’t share the secret when it plays tricks on me.

There’s an expression my sponsor told me before doing Step 5 of the Twelve Steps (“Admitted to God, ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”):

You’re only as sober as your secrets.

Now, i don’t have to tell you guys all my deep dark secrets, but what i do decide to post here has to pass the truth test. “Rigorous honesty” means knowing that whatever i let slide will slide back on top of me one day.


About Al K Hall

Like a battered drinker or a punch drunk boxer, i am here for another round. For those of you who don’t know me, i’m a semi-professional writer on the rocks and a non-practicing alcoholic (if after 30 years of practicing, you still can't do something well, it's best to just give it up). For those of you who do know me, thanks for stopping by anyway and where’s the ten bucks you owe me? Welcome to my Bar None. A hole in the wall where we can hang out and trade the kind of stories you swap only when you’ve had one too many and either can’t find your way home or are afraid to. Hell, it’s cheaper than therapy and plus the pictures are prettier. Here we’ll crack open bottles and jokes and ‘last call’ are the only dirty words you’ll never hear. Pull up a stool and make yourselves at home.

Posted on September 29, 2012, in AA Step Work, Alcoholics Anonymous, Alcoholism, Lessons in Recovery, Recovery and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. “You’re only as sober as your secrets.”

    This version makes a lot more sense to me than the other version of this. Good on Moe.

    It seems that to root out any kind of issue from one’s life, honesty matters, especially honesty with oneself. I don’t think that there is any other way to really be successful when it comes to healing. I find for myself that it is pretty easy to be honest with other people about a lot of things, but much harder to be honest with myself. That’s the real tough one, IMO.

    Like you wrote: “This is the most difficult kind of honesty to foster because often my brain doesn’t share the secret when it plays tricks on me.” I think it is mostly that way for just about everyone. It’s one reason it is good to have people around that you love, respect and trust to help be a kind of mirror of what is really going on — our brains do play tricks, for sure. I guess that is one reason AA promotes hooking up with a sponsor, huh. A sponsor can act as that mirror. I don’t know about you, but it’s a lot easier to see things in other people than it is myself, and I think that relationships help us to both help others see things that need to be seen in them, as well as help us see things more clearly in ourselves. It’s why isolation can be negative for someone trying to heal, and relationship a good place to do the healing.

    That’s what I have discovered, anyway. Relationships via a sponsor and online are a start! Sometimes its all we can muster! (Thinking of how I have a lack of relationships here now, and so I am back to my online life for a sense of connection and stability in life). There’s pretty much just my kid, who is not much of one to have a relationship with right now, lol — but that is a part of what reveals, too. How relationships *don’t* work is just as telling as when they do. Maybe more so.)

    Thanks for this & here’s to honesty playing a healthy role in life. (Toasted with the coffee I am drinking. 🙂 )


    • P.S. About this: ““Rigorous honesty” means knowing that whatever i let slide will slide back on top of me one day.”

      I just had the thought as I re-read this sentence about how this is kind of like how it is important to do a good job of wiping one’s ass, lest there be skid marks, haha!! If you don’t wipe it, it’s gonna be there, stinking up the works, eh? LOL.

      Be rigorous in your honest. Wipe your ass thoroughly. Kind of the same thing, lol. 😉

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