There’s a saying in the recovery community: “We’re as sick as our secrets.” Every now and then you will hear someone mention it at a meeting, or occasionally in private conversation, often as punctuation for a particularly typical story that someone has told. We may say these things—may in fact occasionally give them some thought—but I suspect that many of us do not follow the thought through to its logical conclusion.
Just what secrets are we talking about? Certainly we all have things about our pasts that we would just as soon were not public knowledge. Some of us even have things that we swore we would never tell to another human being.We deal with those issues by completing a thorough 4th and 5th step. That is the whole point of those steps and they, along with the 8th and 9th, are the tools of recovery that get us OK with who we are, and that help clean up the wreckage of the past. But when we limit ourselves only to the secrets of the past, we are addressing only part of the problem.