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I kicked my addiction on my own once for a short time. I did it by reading the scriptures daily. When I relapsed I tried to replicate my success repeatedly for years to no avail. My experience with honesty came when I realized I was trying to use gospel principles to serve my own agenda and do things my way. I had no plans to turn it over to God, ever. I was going to use my knowledge of the gospel to get what I wanted. Then I would look like a spiritual genius for using the gospel to heal myself. It was when I was brought to my knees, completely broken, that I had my wrestle before God. He patiently listened while I lectured Him. After all, I was a good girl! Then I heard these words, "That's how stubborn you are." He knows exactly what we, individually, need to hear. I don't believe God caused my addiction. But because of my pride He stopped protecting me from the consequences. To me honesty means my life is His to direct and ALL glory goes to Him.
As I have really examined my life, I have been able to honestly admit to myself that I have a problem with emotional eating. I've been able to see which emotions trigger cravings for sugar and chocolate. I am working on better responses to my emotions, such as exercise and meditation.
I've come to realize that the principle of being honest in my recovery does not limit itself to admitting to my bishop or my spouse that I've relapsed or come close to relapsing, but that it includes being honest in how I'm feeling in every aspect of my life. I've learned that I have to be honest with my spouse when I'm feeling stressed out or depressed or overwhelmed. There were times when I would get the feeling that I was still hiding something from my spouse and it was frustrating me because I was feeling guilty for not sharing something I couldn't even remember. I also felt like my spouse would be upset with me for being tempted or overwhelmed because it would mean that I was more at risk of relapsing. However, as soon as I expressed these feelings I understood that sharing my feelings about EVERYTHING with my spouse was an important part of the principle of honesty. I have felt the peace of the Spirit return to my life after having done this, and hope that it can also help others
I've been trying for years to overcome this addiction. Trying by myself that is. Each time I would fail, I would lose more hope of ever getting free. I started browsing this site when I had some free time at work. I watched the videos and read Step 1. I realized that I am powerless to overcome my addictions. Being honest has been the hardest part because of the shame I feel. The shame that I should have been better. Shame that I haven't been the man my wife deserves and the father my children deserve. Shame comes from my pride. Pride that I should be able to do this myself. I cannot. The past 13 years have proved that. I have a testimony that the Atonement can help me. I will work hard and follow the steps. He will help me. I know he still loves me.
When I finally went and spoke to my bishop for the first time I was so nervous. I was worried that he was going to tell me what I felt was true, that I as a bad person, but he did not. We talked for a while and I felt better than I had in a long time. Not all of the weight was gone, but much had been lifted. I still have trouble with relapses but I know that lies and hiding don't help. It is like going to a doctor. If you don't go, or you try to hide what is wrong, how can he help you get better? This step has been such a blessing.
I firmly believe that the principle of honesty is the most important principle of this program and of all the 12 steps. If you look at the steps closely enough, honesty plays a big part in almost all of them. Since I first viewed pornography as a teenager I never fully admitted that I was a porn addict, even while I was on my mission. It wasn't until 13 months until after I got home that I realized I needed help. I got a sponsor and he helped me to realize the importance of honesty. Taking the steps takes a lot of courage, faith in God, and a great deal of trust with different individuals and with God. I am so grateful for this step. It helps me to realize that honesty is important not just in the program, but in my interactions with people in my everyday life. If my honesty hurts another individual, that's OK because I know God is pleased that I'm working on being honest in all my dealings with my fellow men.