Truth. This is a word I have struggled with for the greater part of my life. When I was little, I thought whatever an adult told me was true. My siblings would tease me and tell me my blonde hair was turning brown whenever I would lie. I would run to the nearest mirror, pull my part aside and look closely at my roots to see if indeed a transformation was taking place. It wasn’t until years later that i figured out what a bad liar I was…sadly, I developed the art of lying largely due in part to my alcoholism.
Fast forward to present day. I have nearly six months sobriety and I have worked my arse off to be honest at all costs. I have tried to avoid gossip (not completely, but I’m better than I was); I have recognized that by telling the entire truth and not bits and pieces or just the part of a story that makes me look either a. better than I am or b. as a victim allows me to “keep my side of the street clean” as AA states. I feel liberated, less stressed out and far less shame than the past drinking days would leave me with.
This sounds fantastic. Don’t get me wrong; I am not upset about my new lifestyle. Far from it. What upsets me is my damn black and white thinking that this disease has ground into my mind. I have managed to project my lifestyle of honesty onto those around me. I have come to expect others to behave like me and I get mad when then don’t. It’s a righteous way to live and it’s biting me back. Hard.
I do not think omission is telling the truth. My husband, however, disagrees. He has omitted a few details of stories he’s told or life events he’s had over the past few months and I am furious. What does he mean he went to the gambling boat with his friend? What does he mean he got pulled over. Again. What does he mean he spend $500.00 on a (my perspective) useless toy? His excuse? It’s easier to not tell me everything because of my reactions. He’d rather take his chances of me not finding out than having to deal with me.
WHAT? I am living a lie? My marriage is a sham? How in the hell is this fair?
My world seemed upside down. Here I was spilling my guts, admitting my wrongs, cleaning house. And my husband did not share my belief that ALL truths must be told.
So, after I fumed and got pissed and played the victim, I thought about my role. Why doesn’t he want to tell me these types of things? Is my reaction THAT bad? Probably. Can I change it? Probably. Do I have a desire to continue to work on myself and not project my path of sobriety onto those around me? Yes. What am I responsible for? My actions, my behaviors, my self. I do not get to control how other people act. I do not get to control what other people say to me. I do not get to dictate. Sigh.
All is not lost, however. I do get to set boundaries. I do have the ability to say how I feel when I am not being told the whole truth. I also get to go to meetings, talk with my sponsor, see my therapist, blog, journal, pray, reflect, and meditate. i have to understand that at some point- not today- this sobriety will be easier. My life is not going to be without bumps. But I get to respond to the bumps and if I am honest, I have not been so easy to live with for several years. My behavior has been nothing short of erratic, unpredictable, and yes, dishonest.
So, while I am still slightly miffed at the lack of disclosure, I also have to be responsible and realize that six months of sobriety cannot and will not undue the decades I spent drinking. I developed some deep-rooted behavioral patterns and my family was/is affected. I can do the next right thing and not drink. I can love myself and keep on keeping on.
One day at a time.