May 14

INTEGRITY MONTH: DAY 14: “Fear nothing but your conscience.” ― Suzy Kassem

Most addicts I know have a strong thread of codependency in their lives. It is their people-pleasing ideas that keep them on-track.

They do not have a sense of inner direction, but want to please family, friends, co-workers, the pastor at their church, or some other authority figure. What they do is not driven by their own inner compass, but their need to look good in some social structure.

That does not work. We will find ourselves in constant conflict with the world, because it is not what is right for US. That is the test of true integrity. When I know, deep in my gut what is right or wrong for ME. It may not resonate with you, and I have become okay with that. It is what is right or wrong for ME that I have to live with.

I have been told by countless addicts in recovery how they deal with their taxes. Or any other issue where they believe it is okay to be dishonest. That is not my way of living with myself. But I know that they see no issue with this. I do not impose my values on them. I just know that if I lie in one arena, I am going to pay a price for that. A psychic price. There are no loopholes in honesty as I see it.

I am a freak with that, I know. My sponsor even tells me that I am a fanatic, but I understand the laws of honesty. They are simple. Truth or non-truth.

No degrees or shades of that. If I steal from the IRS, I am still stealing. It has been my experience that cleaning up the wreckage of debt with the IRS in an honest fashion has paid off for me long-term. I did not know that when I began, but I was afraid in those early years that I would drink immediately if I lied about ANYTHING.

Not true, as so many can attest. But, it has held me in good standing with the way it all panned out. It is my experience, therefore, that I am going to continue to do the right thing, even when I know I may not get caught when I don’t. I KNOW. I am the final arbiter of my behavior. It does not matter what you do, or how you do it. Not my business.
But what I do and how I do it is no longer driven by fear. It is driven by me feeling free on the inside. Completely clean and free. I love that feeling and no shortcuts are going to take it away from me. I have manifested incredible miracles in the course of my recovery, and I will continue to manifest incredible miracles as long as I continue to do what I know to be right for ME. I love this!

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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