WOMEN in RECOVERY – Brutal or Rigorous?


Celebrate the Freedom

of being rigorously honest a first time!




As you share and disclose to your support groups and trusted community,

remember the difference between “rigorous honesty” and “brutal honesty.”


Brutal honesty is self-centered.

Its focus is saying whatever is true just to make you feel good about yourself, or to relieve your guilt. To avoid this kind of behaviour, try to think before speaking, reminding yourself that ‘what You think about Me is non of my business’; and that when disclosing for self recovery, the only side of the street one should be sweeping is their own.

Rigorous honesty, on the other hand, is authentic.

It respects the effects of your disclosure on others. It protects others from being harmed by it. Rigorous honesty and boundaries come together as a transforming package deal.


This kind of honesty is vital for recovery.

And if public disclosure is deemed more brutal than rigorous, then progressive disclosure may be your best bet. Often this means sharing your story, honestly and transparently, with a trusted mentor, counselor, pastor or coach at first, and then with increasingly wider circles . There aren’t many places, regardless of your denomination, where we can be rigorously honest about our affairs, addictions, lusts and brokenness.

There is a clear ‘path to recovery’,

and it begins by rejecting the lifestyle of lies and self-deception.

One of the realities of addictive behaviors is that those affected quickly master “the art of deception.” They become good at hiding their behavior, masked behind denial, half-truths, and covering their tracks. Honesty and integrity are the first casualties of an addiction.

A misconception about healing from this is that all you need to do is pray your addiction away. Prayers of confession in hopes that your porn habit will go away may result in that instant feeling of forgiveness, but the lingering patterns of addiction may not just go away in an instant. Even after confession, repentance and forgiveness, the compulsion remains, and sometime intensifies.

That may lead to a crisis of faith and spiritual warfare (“what’s wrong with me that I still want to watch porn, or polish off this bottle of Vodka, even after praying?!?”). Confessing your addiction to the Almighty only to have it still hold you by the throat the next day or week can make a brother question his faith, or whether God truly gives a darn. While a private prayer of confession is a start, recovery is a long and winding road.



Deliverance from this stronghold demands a much wider level of disclosure.

It continues with increasing your scope of confession–telling your story to a counselor, ‘sponsor’ or a trusted friend; then being able to be ‘rigorously‘ honest and open with a recovery group. As repentance is put into practice, your circle of disclosure widens. It’s scary for some to think about, yes, but it must be done. What is non-negotiable for effective recovery is rigorous honesty and accountability about your behavior.

So how do you create that kind of environment in the first place?

It starts with authentic, transparent relationships that make it okay to admit struggle, failure, and sin. This may or may not be found within church walls, but it is what a confessing, praying-for-one-another, kind of “church” culture is about. * Refer to James 5:16. This kind of transparency only happens when grace is the foundation on which smaller community interaction gets built.

If I don’t believe you are “for me” and see God’s masterpiece in me,

waiting to be revealed,

I won’t be rigorously honest.


When we regularly confess to one another and pray for each other, encouraging constant connection and responsiveness to God’s Spirit, God heals us! Always remember, if you can be rigorously honest with Me, then perhaps, you will be ‘truthful’ with yourself and that is the primary KEY to Success in Recovery.

Who wishes to be rigorously honest and tolerant? Who wants to confess his faults to another and make restitution for harm done? Who cares anything about a Higher Power, let alone meditation and prayer? Who wants to sacrifice time and energy in trying to carry A.A.’s message to the next sufferer? No, the average alcoholic, self-centered in the extreme, doesn’t care for this prospect – unless he has to do these things in order to stay alive himself. TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 24

Women in addiction recovery programs understand the consequences of their decisions after having hit bottom, and the steps they now need to take to stay sober and live healthy. But for many others, they will continue to struggle secretly with something they have no power over. Let Go & Let God guide your way to a sister in recovery that can help….honesty is the best policy.

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