To Thine Own Self Be True

For recovery discussion
Roman James
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2016 8:39 pm

To Thine Own Self Be True

Post by Roman James »

Well, tomorrow will be 30 days of sobriety for me if I don't drink. Been going to discussion topic meetings only, until last week when I found a Big Book study group. Now I will go to both. I started reading the 12 and 12. I'll read the book cover to cover and then start working the steps. Well, that's the plan anyways.

One thing that has helped me is the phrase on the 24 hr chip that reads 'To Thine Own Self Be True'. I never really thought about these words before, and I'm not really sure what meaning it has associated with AA. The way I interpret it, is that I have to first be honest with myself before I can make this program work for me. If I'm not true to myself, how can I be true to someone else, or the AA program? I have finally accepted the fact that I have to be honest with myself, and admit that I have a problem, and deal with it.

I'm curious what others here think about the phrase, and how you interpret it? Am I close, or out in left field somewhere? Either way, it's helped me get 29 days of sobriety.

Thanks for reading.

User avatar
PaigeB
Trusted Servant
Posts: 8775
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:28 pm
Location: Iowa USA

Re: To Thine Own Self Be True

Post by PaigeB »

Hi Roman! Welcome to e-aa! We are a pretty lively board and I am sure others will be along in the next 24 hours to join in the discussion! I am super glad you found a Step meeting ~ working the Steps of AA is what saved my life. Though we may argue a few details, all will agree that the Steps are the way out of alcoholic hell.

To Thine Own Self Be True... Yes to me it means honesty, but it also reminds me that the AA way of Spirituality must come before an over demanding job, a relationship, a birthday party - or whatever. I have to put my sobriety at the top of my priorities because if I do not, then I will have nothing left but the alcoholic Hell.
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB

User avatar
positrac
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 1358
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:03 am

Re: To Thine Own Self Be True

Post by positrac »

Roman, Welcome and keep going to meetings and learning the literature as it is the basis of our unity, recovery and step work. To Thy own Self Be True is for real and the sooner you get it then the sooner you can start working on you and becoming clearer in your actions and clarity with recovery.

Be well.
Work hard, stay positive, and get up early. It's the best part of the day.
George Allen, Sr.

User avatar
ann2
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 7938
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:01 am
Location: Somewhere in Sweden

Re: To Thine Own Self Be True

Post by ann2 »

Roman James wrote:The way I interpret it, is that I have to first be honest with myself before I can make this program work for me. If I'm not true to myself, how can I be true to someone else, or the AA program? I have finally accepted the fact that I have to be honest with myself, and admit that I have a problem, and deal with it.
Hi, welcome, good topic!

I'm Ann and I'm an alcoholic. This statement meant a lot to me too, so much so that I never even thought much about it . . . so thanks for giving me the nudge.

Yes, when I got to AA, it was because I couldn't accept the dishonesty of living one way while wanting another way. I didn't want to drink anymore and yet there I was, drinking. I was being dishonest to my self, the part of me that said "no!"

To gain an honest life, I needed to stop drinking and in order to stop, I needed help.

That was the truth, as I saw it. At that point I was willing to accept anything to get the help that I wanted. I was ready to die, to be frank. Every day was torture, but I didn't want to drink in order to escape the pain anymore . . . that was the dishonest method.

In AA I started learning how to live life in a way that gave me relief from the pain. The tools I was offered were a replacement for the previous MO, drinking. And they worked.

Living the AA way, I decreased rather than added to my problems (as I would have been using the drinking solution). And if it meant doing something I didn't want to do, well, I was willing to do it because more than anything, I didn't want to drink.

Thanks for letting me share,

Ann
"If I don't take twenty walks, Billy Beane send me to Mexico" -- Miguel Tejada

User avatar
Spirit Flower
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 1532
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 5:49 am
Location: Texas

Re: To Thine Own Self Be True

Post by Spirit Flower »

It is a quote from Shakespeare. The rest of it is: "And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man."
...a score card reading zero...

User avatar
Duke
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 1480
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2011 3:35 pm
Location: Kansas, USA

Re: To Thine Own Self Be True

Post by Duke »

Spirit flower beat be to this one. It's from Hamlet and is part of yet another of Polonius' long-winded speeches to his son, Laertes. He was warning Laertes to always take care of himself first, because if he didn't, he'd be no use to anyone.

I was a big Shakespeare fan in college, so it's difficult for me to hear anything but what the bard intended when he wrote it. Of course, his plays and words were always multilayered, so it's possible that he meant us to see some irony that Polonius' pompous advice also implies that self-awareness is essential to living a meaningful life. Self-awareness which he clearly lacked himself, of course.

Good stuff.
"If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.", Mother Teresa

User avatar
PaigeB
Trusted Servant
Posts: 8775
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:28 pm
Location: Iowa USA

Re: To Thine Own Self Be True

Post by PaigeB »

always take care of himself first
Lest we befall all Shakespearean...

You know how the stewardess on the plane tells you to put on YOUR oxygen mask first, THEN your child's? Yea, because if you pass out from lack of oxygen, you will surely not be able to help your child.
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB

Stepchild
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 1434
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2014 1:31 pm

Re: To Thine Own Self Be True

Post by Stepchild »

I never really thought about these words before, and I'm not really sure what meaning it has associated with AA. The way I interpret it, is that I have to first be honest with myself before I can make this program work for me.
I'd say you are on the right track...From How It Works....

Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.
pg 58

Mike O
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 3245
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 9:55 am
Location: UK

Re: To Thine Own Self Be True

Post by Mike O »

Honesty...rigorous honesty.

It's all too easy to rationalise being dishonest or doing the wrong thing. For me, it was also all too easy to keep on drinking in order to hide my dishonesty from myself.

To thine own self, be true.

Roman James
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2016 8:39 pm

Re: To Thine Own Self Be True

Post by Roman James »

Thanks for the replies everyone. I really appreciate it. Today is my 30th day of sobriety and I will celebrate by going to my court ordered DUI class tonight :mrgreen:
I will be attending this class every Tuesday night through next April 2017.

User avatar
positrac
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 1358
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:03 am

Re: To Thine Own Self Be True

Post by positrac »

Roman James wrote:Thanks for the replies everyone. I really appreciate it. Today is my 30th day of sobriety and I will celebrate by going to my court ordered DUI class tonight :mrgreen:
I will be attending this class every Tuesday night through next April 2017.
Roman this stuff right now really sucks and yet you have a chance to learn heaps from this ordeal and you are alive which is a good thing!

Hang in there and just let this process work for you and try not to drag your feet in your actions of not drinking and you'll see how you and the people in AA can change your way of life. Sounds cheesy and yet I am one of many who have over come the desire to drink for today.
Work hard, stay positive, and get up early. It's the best part of the day.
George Allen, Sr.

Roman James
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2016 8:39 pm

Re: To Thine Own Self Be True

Post by Roman James »

positrac wrote:
Roman James wrote:Thanks for the replies everyone. I really appreciate it. Today is my 30th day of sobriety and I will celebrate by going to my court ordered DUI class tonight :mrgreen:
I will be attending this class every Tuesday night through next April 2017.
Roman this stuff right now really sucks and yet you have a chance to learn heaps from this ordeal and you are alive which is a good thing!

Hang in there and just let this process work for you and try not to drag your feet in your actions of not drinking and you'll see how you and the people in AA can change your way of life. Sounds cheesy and yet I am one of many who have over come the desire to drink for today.
Thanks positrac!

User avatar
PuppyEars
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 195
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2016 4:39 pm

Re: To Thine Own Self Be True

Post by PuppyEars »

Were you ever in the checkout line, someone drops a 20 and within a blink of an eye you step on it to hide it because your conscience got caught with its hand in the cookie jar? My decision in these types of lightning fast moments shows me if I am being true to myself.

Before my thinker gets hold of it@
1488

User avatar
serendipity
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 44
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2016 8:34 am

Re: To Thine Own Self Be True

Post by serendipity »

It is a quote from Shakespeare. The rest of it is: "And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man."
Thank you for sharing this. It deepens the meaning to me to know the origin. I, like some in this topic, wasn't exactly sure of how to interpret it.

kdub720
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 165
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2015 12:03 pm

Re: To Thine Own Self Be True

Post by kdub720 »

Those words hit me hard. Recovery is individual to everyone. So to be true to yourself is the key to recovery. I often get confused on what my personal truth is. This is a great post that makes me think about my life through recovery. Being true and honest to myself is my biggest step I take in the 12 step process.

Post Reply