“We’re only as sick as the secrets we keep.”
This saying may be known well by those in A.A, but many don’t know that it is quite likely a rephrasing of a quote, “You are your secrets” which was written by O. Hobart Mowrer. He was an early 20th century professor of psychology, and he believed that guilt and secrets were the cause of many mental illnesses. I think that he was maybe on to something.
I never went to A.A. but now over six years sober, I find myself amazed at some of the teachings of the group. I totally stumbled across the above quote this morning and wanted to know more. It fascinated me.
I absolutely, positively believe that secrets can and will make you sick. Whether we are hiding the fact that we feel worthless or that we’ve hurt someone, stolen something, or maybe we’re using drugs or drinking too much, secrets can make us ill. They torment us from the inside out, and this can manifest into mental and even physical illnesses. Stress is hard on our minds and our bodies, and there are countless studies pointing to this effect. And what is more stressful than hiding something? More stressful than worrying about what people may think? Or that we may get in trouble, lose somebody’s respect or love? Or our freedom? (Trust me, if you’re worrying about losing your freedom you aren’t very free.) Worrying about these things lowers the quality of our lives. Worry is a recipe for a big helping of sickness.
Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life ?
There is freedom in truth, liberation from guilt and needless anxiety with confession. A sweet release.
I’m not saying that every physical or mental health problem stems from secrets, or that you have to shout your secrets from roof tops, or that you have to blast them all over social media. What I am saying is that you have to let go of the burden of your secrets if you really want to live. If you want to live a life worth living. If you desire real freedom.
There’s an old saying “confession is good for the soul” which is based on a Scottish proverb that seemed to appear around the mid 1800’s. Its a great saying that I believe gets its wisdom from the Bible.
There are many verses in the Bible involving confession, secrets and truth. Is it any wonder that God wants us to confess our sins? That He wants us to come clean to Him, and maybe even others? The creator of your mind and body knows how you tick. He knows that harboring guilt in the dark is a recipe for sickness, whether it be manifested in addiction, anxiety, depression or even physical ailments. He knows the path to well being. He knows that liberation from your bonds begins with the truth.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
Maybe you are living in the darkness right now. Maybe you feel alone, unworthy or ashamed. That’s the enemies way of keeping you enslaved to whatever it is that is making you sick. It really doesn’t have to be that way. A secret loses all of its power over you as soon as it is told. So go on and tell somebody. Tell on yourself. Tell Jesus, tell a friend, tell a counselor, tell a doctor, tell a stranger. Free yourself from the bondage of fear. Free yourself from the chains of despair that come from feeling alone, inadequate or unworthy, because you are none of those things. Quit buying into the lies the enemy is trying to sell you, and seek the Truth.
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
I spent a lot of years keeping secrets. Secrets about my mental health, secrets about my alcoholism, secrets about feeling unworthy, incapable and weak. These secrets wrecked me inside and out and manifested into physical ailments that I am still dealing with now. Stress wreaks havoc on us mentally and physically, and living a lie has got to be one of the most stressful things we can do! Unfortunately, a lot of us turn to the very things we hide to comfort us from ourselves, which is the black irony of addiction. The cycle is vicious and can only be broken by us. By confession. By stepping out of the darkness and into the light.
I offer you a true way out, friend. It is an invitation open to all:
Confess. Seek help. Open your mouth and be set free. Start with Jesus, who died so you could be made clean. Who died so you could be free of guilt and shame. So you don’t have to hide away in the darkness any longer. He died to allow you to walk in and with the Light.
It may sound too simple to you, and the true beauty is that it isn’t too good to be true. There is a way out and all you have to do is ask.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
So tell somebody. Start with Jesus. I promise you that there is nothing in this world that can stop Him when he is working through you. You can overcome absolutely anything through Him. He will show you the way, because He is the Way.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Are you ready to be well? Inside and out? A lot of what you are possibly dealing with begins with letting go of secrets and holding on to the Truth. The truth is that there is nothing we can hide from God, yet foolishly we try anyway. When we finally stop hiding, we finally start living.
So go on. Open your mouth. Confess.
Give it to God. Watch Him work. Open your mouth and your heart. Then welcome true freedom. The truth is a game changer, but you have to be brave enough to win. So give it a shot. Tackle your guilt. You have nothing to lose but fear, worry, shame and hopelessness, and everything to gain. Trust me. I’ve played the game with darkness, and it almost took over my life.
And please always remember, You are not alone.
God bless you,
If this inspires you, or you just like what you read, please like and share! You can follow me @ my Humblegirl page on Facebook, or you can subscribe to my blog by email. Thanks to all who support me and this journey to help others find hope! I’m excited to announce that I am embarking on a new journey to help with addiction, veterans, poverty and disabilities. With the help of friends, and Jesus, I hope to be starting a non-profit ministry to help those in need, Lord willing. I appreciate your prayers for this new project! God bless!
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.