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July 11 • Still a Liar

Day 733

Several years ago, I made what I thought was a routine and obvious decision on behalf of someone not in the room. There was no doubt in my mind they would have agreed with it. A few days later, I was in a meeting with them, and without knowing what I'd done, they volunteered that the decision I'd made for them would absolutely not have been their choice.

There was no reason for me to come clean at the time, so the conversation turned away from that, and I assumed I had skated once again.

A few days ago, the piper showed up. This guy had recently made some decisions that were affected by those decisions I made years ago. Instead of facing him with what I'd done straight up, I leaned into tap-dancing around whether I could even remember what I had done back then.

My commitment to undefended rigorous honesty fell right off the back of the damn wagon, and I just sat there smiling.

It turns out that he knew exactly what I'd done back then, and he was very gracious with my memory issues as he clarified his understandings. I was humiliated in my soul as I continued sitting there and smiling. It's been bothering me ever since. Not because it matters, but because it matters more than I've been able to face.

I've come so far in my honesty about little things, but in this opportunity to be the man I want to be, I failed. This guy is someone I care about very much, and I placed his approval of me above the truth and his right to know it.

What's worse is that I've observed a few other opportunities for rigorous honesty that were either swept into the vortex of my guilt about lying, or serve as confirmation that one lie always leads to another, whether related or not.

So, I'm going to admit this here, I'm going to talk about it with some addicts I know, and I'm going to remind myself that telling the truth will likely never be automatic for me, no matter how much I want it to be. My brain just doesn't work like that.

It is not thrilling to think that this is something I'll always have to work on. Maybe this is my core issue, and getting over this inclination would mean being cured of sexual addiction. Perhaps that is a 'maybe' that is not worth spending a lot of time on.

Today I will be grateful for friends and family that are willing to show me grace while I lie to them, and I'll keep trying never to do it again. You'd think the level of shame I'm feeling about this would be curative. Maybe someday, but only if I can do it this day.



Now I'm a white liar

The truth comes out a little at a time

And it spreads just like a fire

Slips off of my tongue like turpentine

And I don't know why

White liar

–Marinda Lambert, “White Liar”



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