Intimacy is the sharing of our innermost thoughts and feelings with another human being. Many of us long for the warmth and companionship intimacy brings, but those things don't come without effort. In our addiction, we learned to guard ourselves from others lest they threaten our using. In recovery, we learn how to trust others. Intimacy requires us to lower our defenses. To feel the closeness intimacy brings, we must allow others to get close to us-the real us.
If we are to share our innermost selves with others, we must first have an idea of what those innermost selves are truly like. We regularly examine our lives to find out who we really are, what we really want, and how we really feel. Then, based on our regular inventories of ourselves, we must be as completely and consistently honest with our friends as we can be.
Intimacy is a part of life, and therefore a part of living clean-and intimacy, like everything in recovery, has its price. The painstaking self-scrutiny intimacy calls for can be hard work. And the total honesty of intimacy often brings its own complications. But the freedom from isolation and loneliness that intimacy brings is well worth the effort.