Are You Still Keeping Secrets In Your Recovery?

June 4, 2010 — 6 Comments

share my secrets“They Say” that a huge part of addiction recovery is un-burdening yourself of all those “secrets” that you keep inside because of the fear of judgment. I guess this goes along with Step 5 of the 12 Steps. You admit to your higher power, yourself, and another human being the exact nature of your wrongs.

The purpose of this step is supposed to be about openly acknowledging the positive while committing to work at rectifying your negatives. I do understand the purpose of it, I guess I’m just NO WHERE near being ready for this type of outward honesty. I’m not saying I’ll never be there, just not right now.

It seems that I’m not alone in my unwillingness to admit my secrets to another human beings. I have found some sites recently who’s main purpose is to let people anonymously admit their secrets…both good and bad.

I had never heard of these types of sites before until I had read a post on another blogger’s site about confessing our secrets. It was in this post that the website Post Secrets was mentioned.

It didn’t take long for me to be in tears while checking out some of the anonymous secrets that are posted on this site. I felt so horrible for some of these people, they have been carrying around these secrets for so long. They obviously needed to unburden themselves or they wouldn’t thought it necessary to anonymously share their secrets on this site.

Then it dawned on me…I’m not sitting here judging these people for what they are sharing. I’m empathizing with them and identifying with them. Feeling bad for them that they found no means of unburdening themselves other than leaving an anonymous secret on a website.

So why is it that I feel that I would be judged harshly? Why do I feel like there are things that I’ve done that I could never say out loud to another human being? I’m not talking serial murder here, I’m talking just normal human being type actions that result from low self-esteem and possibly addictive thinking.

I don’t have an explanation for this. I have no trouble admitting to myself my wrong doings. I also have no problem thinking about these things and trying to figure out what caused these actions. I know that it’s not just the result of being a bad person.

I guess I’m looking for some feedback on this topic. Are there those people out there that don’t feel like they have gotten to the point of being able to bare their sole to another human being yet? Am I holding my self back in terms of my recovery because I can’t do this? Should I just wait until I feel ready? Will I ever feel ready?

6 responses to Are You Still Keeping Secrets In Your Recovery?

  1. stayathomemotherdom November 8, 2007 at 10:47 pm

    I hope you consider finding a person to do a fifth step with. It really will free you in ways you cannot even fathom.

  2. stayathomemotherdom November 8, 2007 at 10:47 pm

    Oh, and, seriously, we all have “terrible” secrets…but it is so freeing to let them go

  3. Jen, is right; listen to her. I know people who have traveled hundreds of miles to monasteries or nunneries just to find people whom they’ll never have to face again. Maybe that’s a route you can take. There are HUGE advantages to taking a 5th Step with your sponsor, but you can always re-do it if you decide to. My secrets were going to the grave with me, but now I can share them with anybody for whom it will be helpful to hear them. And I’m by no means unique. Lots of folks in A.A. will say the same thing. Are you really so different from the rest of us?

    Lots o love,

  4. I am somebody’s mother and no matter what they did, I love them and just want them to stop doing the wrong things and wipe themselves off and start doing the right things. And, each time they blow it, they pick them selves up and start doing the right things again, hopefully for a little longer period, minute by minute, day by day. It is the not getting up and just getting worse that is killing everyone who cares. And someone cares, no matter what. Thank you for your blog. I care.

  5. Someone’sKiddo June 17, 2011 at 1:38 am

    I found this blog on a search for the 12-step attitude towards secrets. I need a “recovery culture” for having ended up in “recovery” is my constant joke. No, I’ve never felt comfortable sharing secrets. I did feel like there’s an element of bullying in aa/na/trad. treatment centers towards forcing people to submit, accept that one program then to bare all and be forced open. I’ve seen too many, far too many simply leave recovery groups/treatment centers due to this one single issue. Or they simply write their own script & fake it.

    Dunno. I never became addicted because of being a more secretive person, my secrets aren’t of the terrible or devastating (or certainly not criminal) nature. I’ve been told I’m supposed to believe that’s not the case, but sheesh! Has anyone else had a similar experience in “recovery” or is wondering this much about the obsession with having “secrets”?

    –I in no way am blaming AA or NA for what I experienced, as the people expressing and explaining this part of the program were not necessarily keeping to a more pure view of that step-work.

  6. Ive read the articles i can relate. Recovery is something i havent yet recognized i need affection from a woman, they ‘ve always been there for me in the past of most my so called life if i can call it that. The capacity to be honest sounds interesting ive managed to remain sober for almost a year but havent blew out that one year candle yet Amen.

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