Midweek Share: Step 1 – Principle of Honesty

A friend of mine challenged me to write on the 12 Principles of Alcoholics Anonymous. I actually don’t know much about them, so I took the challenge. It’s always fun to learn something new especially as related to my growth. I google-searched them and found them at the following website:


I know that I’ve heard that recovering from an addiction takes two things. The first is to stop using the addictive substance or quit doing the things that are addictive if it’s a process like gambling or sex addiction. The second part is to get involved in a program that builds CHARACTER. I believe addiction is a spiritual problem with a spiritual solution. And, building character is part of a spiritual solution. The Principles are the underlying character traits developed in each of the 12 Steps. There are several different versions of this, but I have chosen one I like…because it’s my blog, and I’ll use the one I like!

Step 1: Honesty — After many years of denial, recovery can begin when with one simple admission of being powerless over alcohol — for alcoholics and their friends and family.

Step 2: Faith — It seems to be a spiritual truth, that before a higher power can begin to operate, you must first believe that it can.

Step 3: Surrender — A lifetime of self-will run riot can come to a screeching halt, and change forever, by making a simple decision to turn it all over to a higher power.

Step 4: Soul Searching — There is a saying in the 12-step programs that recovery is a process, not an event. The same can be said for this step — more will surely be revealed.

Step 5: Integrity — Probably the most difficult of all the steps to face, Step 5 is also the one that provides the greatest opportunity for growth.

Step 6: Acceptance — The key to Step 6 is acceptance — accepting character defects exactly as they are and becoming entirely willing to let them go.

Step 7: Humility — The spiritual focus of Step 7 is humility, asking a higher power to do something that cannot be done by self-will or mere determination.

Step 8: Willingness — Making a list of those harmed before coming into recovery may sound simple. Becoming willing to actually make those amends is the difficult part.

Step 9: Forgiveness — Making amends may seem like a bitter pill to swallow, but for those serious about recovery it can be great medicine for the spirit and soul.

Step 10: Maintenance — Nobody likes to admit to being wrong. But it is absolutely necessary to maintain spiritual progress in recovery.

Step 11: Making Contact — The purpose of Step 11 is to discover the plan God as you understand Him has for your life.

Step 12: Service — For those in recovery programs, practicing Step 12 is simply “how it works.”

I will be blogging about these for the next few months until I’m done. Let’s first look at Honesty.

Definition of HONESTY

1 obsolete : chastity

2 a :fairness and straightforwardness of conduct

    b : adherence to the facts : sincerity
3: any of a genus (Lunaria) of European herbs of the mustard family with toothed leaves and flat disk-shaped siliques
I’m certainly glad that Honesty no longer equals chastity. That would be a hard one for any recovering addict to follow! And, I don’t think they were talking about a European herb. So, I’m going with the second definition. I think both of those apply. Mostly, I think the definition “adherence to the facts” is about Step 1. It’s about me aligning my perception with the reality of the situation.

After the two thousandth time that I failed to socially drink, I finally set my perception to match the facts that I could not socially drink. I broke through my own dishonesty….denial. I did the same thing when I finally admitted that I was powerless over whether or not my ex-husband would get help for his own issues. I forever thought that I could control that or force a solution that would help fix that problem. Once I aligned my perception to the reality, I was able to see that I couldn’t drink period and that I had to accept my ex as he was not how I wanted him to be. Those were hard pills to swallow. I asked some friends to share on the principle of Honesty. Feel free to share if you like in the comments section.

A friend of mine shared:

It took me 7 L-O-N-G years to really “get” this principle. The main problem I had was honesty with myself. For me…it’s so much more than “cash register” honesty…if I’m not living a “transparent” life…I begin to feel bad about myself and then feel like a fraud…over time that starts to get to me and I have to “medicate” the feelings. That leads to serious consequences…and even more negative feelings about myself…so, now I realize that if this happens…I can just get honest…make amends if warranted…and begin again the commitment to rigorous honesty.

Another friend added:

Being honest with myself was the hardest thing to do at first. My fears kept me in bondage to my lies. Each day gave me a new opportunity to experiment with how I felt as I tried to be honest, with myself and then with another person (my sponsor) . Gosh, it was so uncomfortable at first! It meant learning how to knock down some of the bricks I used to build the huge wall that surrounded me. That wall kept me safe from the outside world but also isolated. I never realized how fearful I was until I started to become honest about who I really was and why I drank over it. Little by little that practice of being honest on a daily basis became more normal for me and if I tried to lie, that became uncomfortable! Today my well being depends on being honest with myself, my God, and another human being.

2 Comments on “Midweek Share: Step 1 – Principle of Honesty

  1. I’ll be interested to read your future insights on #5.

Talk to me, please...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: