The Truth Is Enough

I am watching you

Every so often the topic of truth appears. Today marks one of those days for me. I’ve had a week where I’ve watched others—and at moments myself—struggle to get the truth out of their mouth. Why, I ponder, do we seek to veil the truth? What is it about saying what is that challenges us so? I’ve come up with a couple of thoughts:

  1. We don’t consciously understand why we did what we did and therefore cannot articulate it to another. So, we say what we think we should say to minimize the conversation/confrontation.
  2. We do know what we did and are ashamed. So, we seek to rationalize through erasing, minimizing, or embellishing.

Both of these allow us to temporarily protect something we deem worth protecting—self-image.

If we can protect this image, life will be okay. If we cannot protect this image, life will not be okay. We want others to see in us a person that we are not. We want others to see the person we wish we could be. We willingly gamble with the lie because it 1) allows us to go on pretending and/or 2) buys us time to put some correction in our behavior.

When I look back on my lies I see the same pattern. They stemmed from my instincts to protect self-image and my desire to get my (perceived) needs met. From then till now I’ve lied for: recognition, gratification, popularity, men, money, possessions, alcohol, drugs, sympathy, and accolades.

A lie is always, and will always be, me, not facing me.

Even this week, as I sneak cookies, I am dying inside not telling anyone. I think to myself, I’m not hurting anyone, I’m not outright lying. No one asked me. It is so reminiscent of drinking it aches me to admit it. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll choose sneaking a cookie over sneaking vodka any day. In early sobriety I would have been thrilled to only have a cookie craving. But the road narrows. Again I am reminded it’s not the sugar (the alcohol) it’s me.

Am I willing to be honest with me? When I’m okay with me, I can be okay with being me in front of you—no veil.

What’s the truth: This is who I am right here, right now and I’m working on becoming different or I’m not working on becoming different. Either is acceptable because it’s the truth and the truth is enough.

We find our freedom in admitting the truth and loving ourself regardless. We will never move forward denying the truth. We move forward because we finally have a clear starting point.

Love is the only thing that heals any of us. If criticism and judgment worked the world would not be in the mess it’s in. Addiction would not be on the rise.

My suggestion: Find someone you can speak the truth to today. Do some journal writing today. Do not be alone with your secrets as they bear down, pushing you further toward total insanity. There are solutions, grab hold of one. Find a starting point.

The truth is enough.

We don’t fix it all today. We simply look at the next thing in front of us—honestly.

That is enough.

We are enough.

The truth is enough.

***

Two separate updates:

  1. We just started the Sober Relief Postcard. Check page for details. A great way to express yourself anonymously and get some secrets off your heart. Some people have designed their own postcard; others mailed one purchased for 20¢. We are planning to post in August or September depending on the response. We will publish (anonymously) front and back and leave comments open for healing only. All comments will be moderated. This is not a forum for criticism or judgment. It’s about the imperfect, perfection of the process of recovery. It’s about participating in your own healing, as well as, supporting another addict.
  2. Heather Kopp, author of Sober Mercies and blogger at SoberBoots.com is looking for sober bloggers and those-who-love-an-addict bloggers. Please check out the criteria (four clearly defined bullet points) for having her list you as a resource. IMO many of you qualify.

No Responses to “The Truth Is Enough

  • As usual,you’ve given me something to think about. I’ve let myself be content with my willingness to lie when it’s just as easy to tell the truth as part of my package of defects of character. Happily, though, I’ll let myself grow a tad bit…telling lies, repeatedly, to those who I love most is surely a deep issue that begs analysis and thought. Thanks.

    • “Grow a tad bit” … I love it. It’s so interesting when I read your words; I realize that’s all I ever do is grow a tad bit. When I have to grow a lot I call it “unfair.” Thanks for putting growth into a nice perspective for me. Sometimes when people comment I see the post in a refreshed light. On another note, I still find myself embellishing when it is TOTALLY unnecessary. I am glad you commented. You’re helping me keep in check today too.

  • Sneaking cookies? You’re my type of drunk, Lisa . lol.

    Anyway, what you say in so few words adds up to some large chunks of truth. And that is how I want to go on my path, my journey – swallowing these truths and working within them. As you said, I cannot move forward the more I deny the truth. We have sayings like “The truth will set you free”, etc. and they are right. Time and space limits me here in how often telling the truth, my truth, has set me free. How many times I have admitted to someone or to myself something that I never thought I would, and had the weight of the world lifted off of me. Every lie, every deception, every little or big thing held back just eroded me, tore me up inside and brought me eventually back to the bottle. Lies of omission or commission – didn’t matter. It was like building a foundation with paper instead of brick.

    I love the reasons you listed about why we lie. I nodded my head as I read it, because I have done those things. But in my opinion, pride / self-image is the number one reason. We lie to protect the image we want to project, as you mentioned. And that includes a lot of the other stuff – lying to cover things up, to gain things our false self wouldn’t allow for, etc. Many of the reasons I lied boiled down to pride and ego.

    That sound you hear right now is my mind chewing over what you’ve written again. It’s gives my brain and soul a workout. Love it.

    Blessings,
    Paul

    • Paul, This is a true mini-story. When I was newly sober I had a secret drawer of candy and I hid the wrappers in the trash can under other trash so know one would know. It was just like the wine bottles. Which brings me to another mini-story … Our house was one of the first for the recycling trash truck. I remember hearing the wine bottles crash and break in the bottom of the truck when he got to our trash bin. My thought wasn’t, “I have a drinking problem.” My first thought was, “I need to wrap those bottles in more brown paper before I throw them away.” Sick and oh so true.

      So this week, I’m clean on the cookie wrappers … ugghhh! And you are correct, I feel like the weight of the world is lifted. Secrets suck.
      Cheers to another week of sobriety and another week of personal growth. Lisa

      ps I thought of you when I did my e-motivational today. Do you get those? I’ll send a copy over to you. It’s got PAUL written all over it.

  • Let me add some of my favorite (and most destructive, to me) reasons for not telling the truth:

    “Oh, it will hurt (someone else) to know this…” (Not as much as it hurts them that I concealed it.)
    “It’s only temporary, why make a big deal of it, it’ll go away/change.” (And other forms of minimizing.)
    “Too late now. Better to leave it in the past.” (Except it won’t stay there, if I don’t deal with it.)

    I’ve learned the hard way, repeatedly, that these excuses keep the “bad stuff” alive and well and living in my head. And the truth kills them stone dead.

    Another excellent blog, thanks, Lisa!

    • “too late now” hit me the hardest … ouch
      I still have to take my pen to paper and work out the past out. Sometimes I think my early sobriety was more colorful than the last years of drinking. I was just to raw and I was making so many poor choices. I like how you say “the truth kills them stone dead” … good words for me to remember when I get thinking I need to hide. Guess I’ll be speaking slowly this week. xox Me

  • Hi Lisa,

    Just sitting down to the computer for the first time today, and my choice is: a. write my post, or b. read a thought-provoking, inspirational post from you. And, clearly, I have made the right choice. Not 10 minutes ago my husband suggested making up a story to get out of something, I considered it for all of 3 seconds, and said, not worth it… too much like old behavior.

    Now, before you go recommending me for canonization, I still tell plenty of what I like to rationalize as “lesser lies:” mostly lies of omission (like your example above, if no one asked me the question, I’m just failing to disclose. After all, do I need to tell every single person in my life every single action I take?

    As you can see, I am quite skilled at rationalizing.

    Per your mini-stories to Paul, boy oh boy do I have some competing stories (you are to cookies as I am to soft pretzels), and when I say my behavior with soft pretzels mirrors my behaviors in active addiction, I am not just whistling Dixie. Someday, when I am ready to admit my truth about soft pretzels, I am going to write an entire post on it (for now, it is going to have to be enough to say this is who I am, and I NOT currently working on it.

    I will TOTALLY be sending you a sober postcard, and I am heading over to Heather now…

    Thanks for having this post at the exact time I needed to read it!

    • Soft warm pretzels, big chunks of salt, and mustard. Yes!!!
      Oh my goodness what’s the matter with me!?!

      All I can say is that I love the company I keep.
      Know that I am anxiously awaiting “Confessions of a Pretzel Addict”

      The good news is we can laugh about it. And for the record it seems there is plenty I am NOT working on. I sometimes wonder who I am writing for, the reader or me?

      Thanks for the heads up on the canonization, I was sending in my recommendation on the 10th, so you caught me just in time.

      xox
      ps I am a big fan of Heather. I’m not sure she knows I exist, but I love her blog. She’s a solid writer and grounded in her faith.

  • I read your mini-story on Paul’s reply and I used to do the exact same thing! Hide the wrapping paper inside toilet paper or newspaper!!!! The only fool was myself, of course. These stories aren’t old, they are fairly recent…
    Thanks for this post, thank you for being in my life and allowing me to see and love myself.
    Love u.

Trackbacks & Pings

  • Showing Up | Mended Musings :

    […] at Sober Identity wrote a great post on why we tend to veil the truth. She talks about how we can’t be comfortable with other people […]

    6 years ago

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