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Facing the truth of our addictions and mental health issues is one of the most challenging things we’ll ever have to do. It means owning up to our mistakes and the ways we’ve hurt other people and ourselves. It means recognizing our shortcomings and allowing ourselves to be vulnerable. It means embracing humility and the truth of our fallibility. Being honest with ourselves takes a great deal of courage.

We often believe on a deep level that we don’t have the strength and courage to face our most difficult pain. We think of our addictions as a source of weakness. We are often mentally and emotionally berating ourselves, judging ourselves harshly and putting ourselves down. It’s very hard to be honest with ourselves when we aren’t giving ourselves the space to feel safe to do so. We hide from the truth because we are afraid of the consequences – judgment, rejection, abandonment. It’s often us who we fear will judge, reject and abandon us. We’re afraid of these things within ourselves.

Let’s start to change these patterns by developing a new narrative. Let’s build up our confidence to be honest with ourselves by calling upon our inner strength and courage. Start taking notice of every time you speak to yourself in disparaging terms – “You’re such a failure. You’re always messing up. You’re so weak. You’re pathetic.” Let’s flip these statements around to uplift and empower ourselves. “You are strong. You are brave. You can succeed. I believe in you.”

We can only hope to be honest with ourselves if we can give ourselves the safe space in which to do that. Mentally work to become your own ally rather than your harshest critic. “I am here for you. We are in this together.” Soon your inner voice will be working with you rather than against you.

It’s important as we’re changing our self-talk to remind ourselves that being honest with ourselves will inevitably bring up painful truths, about who we are, our thought patterns, our behaviors, our regrets. We have to choose to face these truths, embrace the difficult challenges that come with them, and support ourselves through the process. “Whatever happens, we’ll get through this.” Love and accept yourself unconditionally, and that will help you to create the safe space within yourself that you need to harness the courage to be honest with yourself.

Recovery is a process, and you don’t have to navigate it alone. Call (800) 871-5440.