Transparency Without Shame

“If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.”     ~ Mark Twain


I was a liar.

To be an alcoholic and an addict you have to be. You must be able to lie to yourself to keep destroying your life against every natural instinct of survival. Lying is unnatural – I believe humans are basically honest and true and good. But then things can happen that change who we are and we can become things we don’t want to be. I became bitter and angry and self-righteous because of the traumas of my childhood. Maybe it is understandable that I turned into a selfish and hurtful person. But once I knew that was who I had become and I knew that it was wrong to be that way I had to become a liar to perpetuate those unnatural behaviors. Becoming a liar wasn’t a conscious decision, it snuck up on me and grabbed the reins when I wasn’t looking. I had to lie to myself convincingly enough that I could justify doing the harm to others that had been done to me. 

So, I lied. 

In order to lie to others you have to be able to lie to yourself. Now I know how much energy is consumed in telling lies – for once begun they have to be maintained in ever increasing complex constructs of fabrication. It  becomes like a spider that is trapped in it’s own web. For me a side effect of this was self-medicating with drugs and alcohol to help mask the shame of my self-castigation coupled with perpetuated untruths. 

Then the drugs and alcohol and internal voices lied to me.

They told me I wasn’t worthy of love. They told me the only way to survive was to listen to them. And in between my bouts with them I felt an ever deepening shame that consumed me so fully that the time between hanging out with them – the time of sobriety – became less and less and less until I was drunk with them more often than not. 

The only way out of lying is to stop.

Telling the truth requires transparency without shame. I was able to stop lying when I allowed God to come into my heart and heal me. He did this with the redemptive work that Christ did on the cross. What Jesus did by his sacrifice was to allow me to nail my own shame to the cross so that I could stop believing the voice of the enemy who was telling me I was unworthy of love. And as I began to heal the truth of who I really am was able to be a light in the darkness that became brighter than the shame.

I don’t lie anymore.

I have discovered that when I tell the truth about being a liar and share with others about my addiction and the hurtful things I had done I have been surprised at their support. I thought if I revealed the monster who had been me to others that they would be repelled. But, in fact they have drawn closer in support and respect for me being transparent and honest. In this way I have healed and become the kind and loving person that I was always intended by God to be.

That is no lie.

This process has culminated in the writing of my memoir. The self-examination without shame coupled with full disclosure on those pages has cleansed my heart and soul while making me whole again.

That is the truth.





” I could stop believing the voice of the enemy who was telling me I was unworthy of love.”


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