Happy hopping and welcome! My theme for the Challenge is addiction because both my hubby and I are recovering addicts. No worries though. I like to keep things fairly light even when dealing with a heavy topic like this one. Want a glimpse into my world of cocaine addiction? Listen to Metallica’s, Master of Puppets. If that’s too heavy, you can try Staind, It's Been Awhile instead. Much more mellow.
One of my favorite genres of movies and television is comedy. While many people aren’t fans of Jim Carrey, I am. Well, I’m a fan of some of his movies. Not all of them. One of his movies I enjoyed was Liar, Liar. Maybe it was because of some of the lies I was told growing up. Maybe it was because I’d become such a liar myself during my addiction.
Or on reflection, maybe it’s because lies caused me the most damage while Devin was in the grips of his addiction. Even while he was navigating his way through recovery, lying was one of the hardest habits for him to break. And it was one of mine too. I would have loved for him to be just like Jim Carrey and not be able to tell a lie, but that wasn’t possible. Or realistic. But it sure would’ve been cool. Maybe.
I remember how angry and hurt I’d get when he’d lie about the smallest things. I’d ask him to grab me salsa from the store and he’d come home with his snacks and not mine. When I’d ask about mine, he’d tell me they were out of my brand. Then quickly move on to another topic. Really? Why not just by another brand? C’mon dude. If I pressed the issue, he’d get angry and a huge blowup would happen.
He also lied about big stuff. In the beginning, it was slips. He didn’t have to tell me he had one because my hypervigilance was taking care of that. So I would confront him and shame him. Thankfully, we figured out that wasn’t the best approach, so I became a safe person to talk to…eventually...through much trial and error.
I thought that being more understanding about slips would mean the lying would disappear. It didn’t. Not right away. It definitely helped but it didn’t stop. He still held so much shame, it was easier for him to lie than face my disappointment in him and the disappointment in himself.
Sometimes the lies weren’t boldfaced lies, but broader. Pulling teeth to get to the truth. Very frustrating for me because those were harder to dismantle and understand. We’d come so far and made so much progress in each of our recoveries and yet he’d still feel this need to guard parts of himself against me by only sharing bits and pieces.
As I said, not quite lying, not really omitting the truth, more like not being completely vulnerable in the areas I needed him to be with his recovery: sponsorship, step work, things he’s learning from group, etc. to help me feel secure in our relationship and secure that he was in an active and healthy recovery.
This was something that didn’t happen for a couple of years. It was also something I had a difficult time navigating. I wanted to jump in and control his recovery. I wanted to know what he said at meetings. Hello, violation of anonymous. I wanted to know what his first step said. I, I, I. What about him? It seemed we both had some work to do on empathy.
What helped me get through that time was remembering my past. I think I’ve established that I was no saint. I’m still not a saint. I pray every day and every night for the forgiveness of my sins. It pains me to know the lies that I told to my family, especially to my father. I made amends to him and I’m grateful that I did before he died, but it still sucks.
Yet, I think knowing what my addiction caused me to do to the people I love, helped me have a deeper understanding of what Devin was going through as he embarked on his journey to recovery. It was tough, for sure. The lies were worse than the affairs. That sounds crazy, doesn’t it? No need to answer. I can’t hear you. Plus, I read it and I know how crazy it sounds, but it’s true. The lies had a way of eroding away the tiny bit of trust I had allowed myself to invest back into Devin, so it would all come crashing down again and I would wonder just how stupid was I to be trying, yet again, to be vulnerable with him. To put my heart out there…one more time, risking hurt.
What I found though, was that the more time I invested in me, the more I journaled, the more I did yoga, and went to the beach, and talked to my dogs (and my plants), and danced and sung in my living room, the less I was affected by those lies that Devin felt he needed to tell me because than I was able to see that it wasn’t me he was lying to. He was lying to himself.
Now, we're in a much better place. No more lies.
Laugh of the Day:
Bonus Laugh of the Day:
Do you like chips and salsa? Do you like to say chips and salsa? Are you empathetic?
I look forward to seeing everyone during the Challenge! Click here to get to the master list sign up sheet. I'll see you this afternoon!