How to Be Honest and Live a Fulfilling, Happy Life

Being honest and open about my past has always been a struggle.

I lived a double life for a long time when I was in-between treatment and relapse. Not many people knew of the real person behind the mask.

I did myself a deep injustice. I could never establish new friendships and bonds. I was guarded and it most likely showed. I could never completely relax, I felt like a fake spy pretending to be somebody I wasn’t for the greater good and any minute my cover would be blown.

I put on a fantastic performance, well so I thought, until the cracks started to show. The frustration, stress and guilt of living a double life always got me back to using. Apart from the fear of being found out, the fear of been rejected was the worst.

I felt like I was somebody amongst the addicts that had lost all their hopes and dreams with their spirit. I was still hanging on to hope and hanging around the lost souls to make myself feel found.

One evening in a bar I was telling an old friend about issues involving the disclosure of my past and how it had caught up with me and she asked why I wasn’t proud of where I had come from? I knew that I needed to get over myself and take ownership as the shame, fear and guilt was seriously holding me back from opportunity and happiness.

After graduating from University I signed up with an agency to take up Admin assignments and was called up for an interview at an Intensive Mental Health Unit. I immediately got the job. I didn’t give them any details of my medical history and I wasn’t asked.

What followed was a series of events that put me in a compromising and highly difficult position, all because I could not be honest and tell people about my difficult past.

A patient on the ward was from my past and I was identified. I was naturally horrified and ran away after resigning the assignment.

Who would understand? What person in their right mind would take on an ex addict with a string of offences? We say such things to protect ourselves and remain in our bubble.

Yes a lot of people would be horrified but 9/10 people would be amazed at the journey, courage, strength and determination we have endured to fight for our lives.

Taking this writing post was so refreshing, from the first email I was straight and without hesitation or explanation I revealed I was an ex-addict spanning 10 years and recovering, well and enthusiastic to join the team. Boom I was in! Just like that. This confirmed my belief that being honest pays.

Running away from your past might diminish feelings of discomfort temporarily but that past always catches up with you and in the most compromising of situations.

Take a look at yourself, study your life, and really get a feeling of what’s happened and what you have experienced.

An addict’s life is chaotic, extreme, dramatic, intense and horrendous. You must know where you’ve been in order to come back.

It’s all about accepting warts and all and identifying that we are all human and humans without exception have flaws. The most famous and interesting characters in literature are deeply flawed and that’s what makes them so endearing and attractive.

Be honest, be proud, and stay true to yourself. Your experiences make you who you are today.

May the force within you be strong, may the power within you fight.

Help Day of Women yield us together and as a family of women unite.

Barefoot Poet

“What makes the Barefoot Poet so appealing as a team member is that she has an intimate knowledge of the challenges of addiction and has overcome it.” – Karen Skehel, Founder of Day of Women.

If you’d like to grow your confidence, enhance your well-being, feel empowered and be inspired, join one of retreat programmes.  Find out more here!

These suggestions have a track record of working for people in this situation. We recommend that you try these tips and see which ones are suitable for you. You may find that other approaches work for you too. Depending on your circumstances, a consultation with your GP may be advised.


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