Not long ago, someone told me tha the most important part of recovery from any addiction is accountability. Certainly I don't dispute that accountability is required. However, there's something that I would put even higher on the importance list. The most important element of recovery, I believe, is transparency.
Without transparency, you see, there can be no real accountability. Let me define for you what I mean by "transparency," and then we'll look at 3 reasons for its importance.
Transparency in the literal sense means that you can see right through something; light passes through it without much obstruction. In recovery, we speak of recovery because we don't want to try to hide from our accountability partners any more. So in this sense, transparency means to be free of deceit or from attempts to hide what we're doing. We want our accountability leaders and peers to "see right through us."
Here are three reasons that you must remain transparent during your early stages of recovery:
1) Transparency makes accountability possible. You can only be accountable for where you're going, what you're doing and how you're spending your money if you are 100% honest. A sponsor or other sober friend can help you spend your money on right things rather than your addiction--but only if you don't lie to him about it.
2) Transparency keeps you from isolating. Make no mistake: Isolation is the enemy of recovery. Isolation keeps you from interacting with the very people who can help you achieve long-lasting recovery. It keeps you from meetings, from your sponsor, and from church.
3) Transparency helps you eliminate character defects. If you've looked at the 12 steps, you know that a couple of them have to do with dealing with your character defects. Transparency helps you to recognize these defects in yourself, and to listen to others as they help you find these defects.
So the next time someone tells you, "I can see right through you," tell them, "Good! That means my recovery is working."