Everyone comes into sobriety with secrets. Secrets are like a cancer that grows and weighs us down. Chip and Veronica explore the nature of secrets, confessing to some secrets and how secrets affect our relationships.
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My relationship with Chip started with a lie.
Eighteen months into my sobriety I applied to be an intern at Chip’s rehab and out of insecurity, I lied about how long I had been sober.
I got the job and for months there I was, talking to clients about honesty and being real and reclaiming yourself while I had this secret.
It ate at me every day, little by little until I finally confessed and made amends. I finally felt light again.
Looking back, it was so insignificant. I could easily have been honest from the start and it would have been okay. But keeping that secret cost me a lot emotionally.
“Everything about drinking is secret.” – Chip Somers
Today, we have a pretty juicy episode. We’re going to be talking about secrets and how they keep you sick.
We all have parts of ourselves that we just don’t want anyone to know. And we’re allowed to keep part of ourselves private. But what we want to talk about here is the secrets we bring with us into sobriety.
What you will discover is that when you stop drinking, those secrets will weigh you down and feel very, very heavy.
When we’re using and drinking, we accumulate a lot of secrets. How much we’re drinking, when we’re drinking, where we hide our alcohol, the list goes on and on.
We don’t want people to see our fear. We don’t want people to see our vulnerability. We don’t want people to see things that we’re ashamed of.
Those behaviors are so ingrained that it takes an awful lot of mindset shifts and practice to get to a point where you are okay with being more honest and open.
When you keep secrets, they create a barrier that keeps you from connecting with the people around you. Then the fear of the secret coming out leads you to lie and manipulate others in the name of protecting your secret. As time passes, the weight just gets heavier and heavier.
So why do we keep secrets?
The bottom line is that we’re scared of what people are going to think about us. We want to fit in and avoid judgment and disapproval.
“Secrecy can be so damaging to sobriety.” – Chip Somers
How can you handle secrets instead?
This is where taking regular stock of what you’re doing and having a therapist has been invaluable for Chip and me.
The thing about paying a professional is that you know that barring very specific circumstances, you know that what you say is definitely going to stay there. With a therapist, you can talk about things that you wouldn’t want to talk to everybody about.
The bottom line is, voice it and speak it out loud. That takes so much power out of the situation.
The fewer secrets you have, the lighter you’re going to be spiritually and the easier you will be able to go about your life.
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