“We learn not to use half-truths to manipulate others. We accept responsibility for our actions and our lives.”
Sex Addicts Anonymous, page 63
Before joining SAA, I sincerely believed I was honest. I worked through Step Seven and had a long list of character defects, but dishonesty was not among them. It took a slip and several days of not disclosing it to my sponsor before I realized that dishonesty was my most deeply rooted character defect. It was the character defect I relied upon when I was most at risk, particularly when I feared the anger of others and when I needed to protect my acting out behavior. When I admitted the slip to my sponsor, I said that I now recognize dishonesty as a character defect.
I began to include the question, “Was I dishonest today?” in my evening inventory. How do I recognize my dishonesty on a daily basis? It’s easy—where am I anxious? There I often find dishonesty in the mix. I have been amazed at the many forms dishonesty takes in my behavior: withholding information, delaying communication on something important but difficult, and especially, being almost honest as a way of covering up something that I fear would threaten my safety.
Recognizing my dishonesty is a gift. It is a landmark where I can drop my shame and head down a path of honesty, a path along which I find my Higher Power and others in recovery.
Grant me the courage to stop, look, and listen. I can drop my shame and choose a better road.