dishonest in our relations with others, but the more serious bar to recovery is that we have been dishonest with ourselves. We have not been willing to accept the fact that we are powerless over alcohol and cannot recover by using our own willpower and good intentions. We have been unable or unwilling to admit that we are alcoholics and must seek the same solution that has worked so well for others. We often hear this dishonesty expressed in statements like these: “I still think I’m man enough to handle my liquor,” or, “I think I’ll be ok if I stay away from the hard stuff and just stick to beer or a glass of wine now and then.” My continuing dishonesty while drinking was to return to my old haunts “just to have a Coke and chat with buddies.” One or two Cokes, and I’d order a beer or a whisky.
The honesty required for recovery is sometimes called “self-honesty.” We might also hear of “cash-register honesty,” which simply refers to avoids stealing in its various forms. Beyond that, some of us may have lied about our accomplishments or taken credit for the achievements of others. Any practice that includes bearing false witness is certainly dishonesty. I had been in the Navy in the western Pacific during the last year of World War II. In talking about it, I always made it sound as though I had survived ferocious combat when most of the tour was boring and uneventful.
How can we detect and face dishonesty in ourselves? One way is to face the real motives behind our thoughts and actions. We’ve all known people who say and do hurtful things under the guise of “just being honest.” If we do this, our real motive might be to feel superior by