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Erica Galindo
Celebrating Food, Faith and Family
Last edited on: April 26, 2015.


To thine own self be true—Polonius, Hamlet


In recovery, any kind of recovery, people must learn to embrace their brokenness rather than resentfully deny it. This is their only positive option. But doing so isn’t easy. They believe it is much preferable to remain in denial, which is exactly what most people do. Who wants to admit that his or her drinking has become a problem? Who wants to admit he or she is out of control? Who wants to say, “I have a problem?”


Nobody that I know, that’s for sure. It’s the same for any addiction, whether it is to alcohol, drugs, prescription medications, pornography, or being an enabler for those who are caught up in self-defeating behavior. We don’t want to admit who we are—who we have become. Nevertheless, this is the essential step that everybody caught up in addiction must make because denial doesn’t work. Until this happens, regardless of how unique one’s circumstances are, no progress can be made—none, nada, zip!


In an effort to avoid being truthful, people will go to extraordinary lengths. My father is a perfect example of this. When I was young, my dad smoked more than a pack of Camels a day—just like so many others in his generation. At one point, he tried to quit. Several months later, he ended up in the hospital with bleeding ulcers. When asked, he told the doctor that quitting smoking was making him very nervous and stressful.


Haphazardly, his doctor commented, “Hmmm, maybe you’re better off smoking.”


From that moment on, my father affirmed, “The doctor put me back on cigarettes”—like it was a prescription. I’m not kidding. In his mind, it was like smoking a cigarette was taking medicine. It was good for him. That’s how deep his denial—based on his addiction— really was. Eventually, my father contracted emphysema from smoking and died in his early sixties. Nevertheless, he steadfastly refused to believe that smoking was wrong for him. How could it be? The doctor had prescribed it.


Although the story is true, it may seem a little extreme to you. Perhaps it is, but it doesn’t take much denial for any of us to become self-deceived. We don’t mind being somewhat honest—just as long as it’s not too invasive. When we are asked to disclose who we really are, most of us balk. We deflect, change the subject, or refuse to participate candidly.


Fearing reality, we believe we are being self-protective, but we aren’t. Instead, we are shielding that part of us that keeps us enslaved—our addictions. By doing so, although we frequently don’t realize it, we hinder any progress that might be made.


So, if this is you, or if you are protecting someone who is like this, it’s time to stop. To be the person God created you to be, you cannot pretend a lie is the truth. You must come clean. It’s the only way. If this is your desire, join me in the following prayer.



I have pretended to be

Someone that I am not

For such a long time

That I have come to believe

False things about myself,

Rather than the truth.

I know this is true,

And I cannot go on deceiving myself.

I know who I am, and I want

To admit it to You right now.

I am not the person I say I am.

I may look good on the outside,

But on the inside, where it really counts,

I am insecure and fearful of the future.


Father, reveal me to myself.

Uncover the wounds that make me dependent

On alcohol to feel good about who I am.

I have excused my behavior for far too long,

Blaming others for my situation,

Rather than placing the blame

Where it really belongs—on myself.

Cleanse me from my past, and help me change.

I cannot do this on my own. I have tried

And failed so many times, I have lost count.

On my own, I am helpless,

But with You by my side,

Empowering me through Your Spirit,

I can look forward to the future,

Instead of dreading it—like I do now.

Help me, Father; do not delay.

I will do my part, which is to acknowledge

That I have walked the wrong path for so long

That I can’t find the right way without You.

Thank You for loving me and accepting me, just as I am,



The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way,

But the folly of fools is deceit.

—Proverbs 14:8

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