There are many things to be grateful for when you live a sober life. That I still have my life tops my list, thank you very much (smile). The fact those who know me trust me because they know they can is right up there. To be trusted is quite the gift, especially for someone like me who for years would lie and spin tall tales without batting an eye. It was a unhealthy way of life. It was so ingrained in my character there were times I either didn’t realize I was doing it or times when the lie was so silly it baffled even me. If I read 25 books one year I’d say I’d read 26. Crikey!
Many believe (I did) the moment you stop using (alcohol and or drugs) you are sober. Not true. You have to stop using to then get sober. It took time for me to learn how to live a sober life, an honest life. Dishonesty itself is an insidiously addictive substance.
Being honest does not (by any stretch of the imagination) mean I am always be right. Far from it. In fact, one of aspects of honesty I appreciate the most is the relative ease with which I can admit when I’m wrong, and, when appropriate, apologize. There is something comforting about honesty.
Now, the fact I am honest does not mean people always believe me. Though they are not always pain free, moments when people think I am being dishonest with them are absent the presence of guilt (now there’s an emotion that will erode one’s sense of worth) and therefore less stressful and complex moments to manage. Not always easy though. While honesty does not make life easy, it does make life easier.
“No legacy is so rich as honesty,” wrote William Shakespeare (“All’s Well that Ends Well”, Act 3 scene 5). For me it is a legacy within reach, and one I’d never thought possible.