We’re only as sick as our secrets.

Note: This is a re-post from an article written in 2018 and lost during a site migration. Though I fill like it is still relevant today, personal Inventory and learning to maintain unconditional Honest is a daily endeavor I would like to think has progressed since this was first published.

Quote from Master Chance Burleson. "We can't think our way out of a situation we behaved our way into."

There’s an old cliche that I first heard when I began my journey through 12 Step recovery, “we’re only as sick as our secrets.” A topic that can very much touch anybody, no matter where they are in life.

I just happened to be finishing up, going through my motives on my inventory again.

And my 4th Step inventory changes over time. My inventory is not nearly as specific to events as it used to be. There are not any secrets per se. When I inventory now, it has a lot broader perspective. It is more about how I respond to social situations, politics, Facebook posts, etc.

The most recent entries in my current inventory have gotten into relationships.

My relationships have changed quite a bit over the years, and I’m fortunate today. I remember when I first came back in recovery from my addiction. I was single. And I had gone through separation and divorce. It was easier to talk about relationships at that time.

Today I’m married, I have kids. We just celebrated our 10th anniversary this year.

We most definitely have had our ups and downs. I bring this up because, over this past year, a very dynamic change in our relationship has happened. Today the only secrets I have from my wife are when her birthday comes around or anniversary or Christmas.

There are things that I wait until “the right times” to share with her.

Which, of course, can be a big mistake. But, I’ve tried to work on when to tell my wife certain things. But there is not anything left of my past that she purposely doesn’t know. And I don’t believe there is anything of her past that I don’t know. Except I have a lousy sense of memory when it comes to details. I simply do not hold on to specifics. It makes me highly effective as a sponsor doing the 5th step with somebody. Because you share it with me, and I can relate to you. But then once we’re done going over it, it’s gone out of my head.

But relationships will change over time.

Does that mean I go home and tell my wife every single thing that has happened that day? No. What it does mean is I’m no longer hiding anything. That’s the difference. Some things get brought up, and she’s like, “you never told me that.” And I’m like, “well, I didn’t mean to not tell you. It just hasn’t come up yet.”

I’m not purposely hiding anything from her. It’s essential to continue to work on being better and more mindful. Just as the 4th Step in recovery teaches us to be honest with ourselves, learning to live by the 4th Tradition shows us to recognize just how much of our lives affect those around us.

The simple part is letting go of everything that happened in the past.

Because it’s in the past. What I’ve had to learn to work on as far as my relationships go is how I treat you in the present. Am I doing anything today that I’m going to need to hide from you tomorrow? Am I still acting out in such a way that I don’t want you to see? For the most part, I don’t go through my day doing anything that I have to hide.

Some of the things we’ve done does not need to come out in any public way.

They need to stay with the 4th and the 5th step, and that is why in recovery, we have ‘sponsors.’ Sometimes we may need to share something with someone that’s legally bound not to share. Some of us may have done things in our past that could get us in trouble in the present. But, we need to share it with someone.

There are no secrets worth taking to the grave.

Something I learned a long time ago is I don’t have to share everything about me with one person. But I do need to share everything about me with someone. If I have something I feel that I can’t share with anyone, that’s an obvious red flag. I need to find somebody I can share it with. No one person needs to know me 100%, but 100% of me needs to be known.

"We are only as sick as our secrets." Click To Tweet

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