May 23

INTEGRITY MONTH: DAY 23: “Credibility and dishonesty are polar opposites, not just in motion, but also in motive. Credibility is driven by a selfless spirit of mutual respect. Dishonesty is driven by a selfish spirit of self-preservation.”― Jeremy Gove

To be credible, I have to be completely authentic and transparent in my life with others. It is the only way I develop trust and honor.

As addicts, whether we are getting loaded or not, many have self-preservation tactics, known as character defects, or as I prefer to refer to them Ego defenses. These do not allow us to be forthcoming or honorable. People with these are more apt to hide out.  They cannot be available, are limited in what they tell others, and guarded at all times. They are suspicious, and very dishonest, not necessarily with others, but certainly with themselves.

I have worked with others who are this way after many decades of not drinking or using. They are not able to be open and available, because they are uncomfortable with others knowing their inner workings. They still use evasive tactics to cover up what they are up to. And when questioned, will jump into those Ego defenses and maneuvers to avoid open lines of communication. They often claim to be more “private” than others.

Privacy is fine unless you are working with the person who is sponsoring you. Then it is deceptive and evasive. That energy always comes through. And the feeling of shame permeates the exchange. I have a strong intuitive sense for these conversations. It is my gift for working with addicts. Avoidance is seldom going to come out well in recovery. But it is not my issue to carry. I am grateful for that.

Protecting Ego is the only purpose of Ego defenses. You cannot allow it to survive and still recover. That is the sad truth here. Looking good and living well are seldom going to show up hand in hand. Just does not work like that.

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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