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How to know you are being lied to

In the mind of an addict, there is paranoia, a deep-seated fear, of questions. Questions require answers. When people expect answers, the addict must lie. When the addict lies, he or she must remember those lies to keep the story straight. The stress can be overwhelming, even if it isn’t realized consciously.

As an addict, I didn’t want to lie. I didn’t WANT to use. But I HAD to use. No matter how hard I fought, I always lost. So there were always questions, and answers, and lies, and stress, and—the cycle went on and on.

My Story

I was very fortunate that God brought me to a place where it was rehab for me, or I would lose my job, family, friends, everything.

My church community group raised my fee to attend the Home of Grace (the GREATEST faith-based addiction recovery place in the world, yes I’m biased). There I was set free by the power of Jesus Christ. I experienced a great many things for the first time, in a long time, while at The Home of Grace. One of the most powerful experiences was a true understanding of John 8:32 …

Then you will know the truth and the truth shall set you free.

I could discuss different aspects of this verse for a long time, but I want to highlight just one aspect.

When you know the truth, and you tell the truth, you don’t have to live your life inventing lies, telling lies, and remembering those lies, while constantly storing up stress (which makes you want to use) for all the lying you’re doing. Walking in the truth makes you free from all of that garbage.

And freedom is GLORIOUS!

When I left the Home of Grace, I had to face the reality that I was not trusted by anybody, in any area. I wanted so desperately to begin to rebuild trust, and I began to, slowly but surely.

Would you like to know how? By answering questions.

WHAT they answer vs. HOW they answer

Before recovery from my drug addiction, when people started asking questions, I became irritable. I cannot begin to count the number of reasons I gave for being bent out of shape when people asked questions, but they all boiled down to one answer, I knew in my heart, and that was, I didn’t want any questions because I didn’t want to have to keep track of more lies.

Now when people ask me questions, and they follow it with, “I’m sorry I just need to ask” or “I apologize for asking so many questions I’m just verifying.” I have to interrupt them and tell them, “it’s fine.” I have all the (truthful) answers right here. Please ask as many questions as you’d like. Ask until you feel comfortable. If there is any other way I can verify what I’m telling you or anything else I can do to reassure you, then, by all means, please ask.”

I LOVE having the ability to prove that what I’m saying is true. The addict is not that way because so often, they are not being honest.

Keep asking questions

I want to encourage those of you who are in a relationship with someone who is an addict (whether just suspected or actually known), if you have questions or concerns, please bring them up. Ask until all your worries and fears have been allayed. The addict that is clean, and living a recovery lifestyle, will appreciate the opportunity to put your mind at ease. They will relish the chance to calm your fears and build trust. They will welcome it as your attempt to protect them from the lifestyle that is trying to kill them.

If the person you are dealing with bristles up every time you ask a question that should raise a red flag. That alone should cause you to, at the very least, pay closer attention. If you start to notice a pattern, then you may have a need for further action.

The bottom line

For all of you out there who know and care about somebody that did, or does, struggle with addiction, no addict ever died from too many questions. A great many died indirectly from too few. I should have been one of them.

God Bless you all, whether you are the addict or the person who loves them, as you walk this road of recovery together!

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  1. I feel really bad. My best friend who I knew had a problem lied so much I moved to another state. She told me she was going to rehab and I did not believe her. I said some pretty bad things to her that I now regret when I found out that she really do go to Home of Grace for women. I am so proud of herand I feel so bad for not believing her. I didn’t say goodbye
    I still care about my friend and just want her to know that I am sorry for not believing her and acting like I did not care. I am praying for every day and night. I know it’s going to be a difficult journey. How do I mend the fence on my side and somehow let her know I do care and I’m here for her while she is there? Thank you all for whathe you do.

    • Thank you for sharing your story. Addiction is a very difficult thing to live with whether you’re the one going through it, or somebody you care about is. You are not the first person to say negative things to an addict. The most difficult thing is to forgive yourself.

      As an addict there were people i loved that said very hurtful things to me. But i knew in my heart when they were said that it was because of choices i made. In essence i knew that my addiction caused the hurt, not those who loved me. Now we’re all different so there’s no guarantee your friend feels that way. However, in my experience, it’s always about effort and grace. What I mean is this, most addicts that i know have no desire to hang on to hurtful things. It’s painful emotions that cause us to use. If you were to write a letter to your friend (if she’s still at The Haven) or call her and talk, maybe even call her for coffee if she’s already out, and just tell her you’re sorry, i think you would find immediate forgiveness. Your friend has learned all bout forgiveness and letting go of bitterness while at The Home of Grace. If she’s turned her life around she will be wanting to implement those things. I know it may seem like it cannot be that simple but in most cases it is.

      Even if she chooses not to forgive you, as painful as that would be, just know that you’ve done the right thing. In my recovery I’m part of a bible study with Celebrate Recovery called a “Step Study.” In it we study the steps to recovery in depth. Part of that process is to make a list of people we’ve wronged and make amends when possible. We have learned that as we ask for forgiveness the response we receive isn’t so important. The important part is ASKING for forgiveness. We have then done everything in our power to heal the wound. That ultimately is all that we can do. The rest is left up to God. I think you will find your friend receptive. I think she desires reconciliation as much as you do. We will certainly be praying for you!

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