Recently, I was talking to an old friend. Someone whom with I have been friends since high school. This friend just also happened to be one of the people that I got high with for years as well. Since I have been clean, I don’t see him too much. Actually, the last time I saw this friend, he ripped me off for money. He needed money to get well and had a grocery store gift card. Since I have two kids, buying a discounted card for food will always come in handy. My husband and I met him and of course there was a story. “You can’t bullshit a bullshitter.” I gave him the benefit of the doubt as I have been close with him for fifteen years. He would drop the card off later and I would give him the rest of the money. Why would he fuck me for thirty dollars?
Well, he did. We as addicts, are able to become expert liars. We obtain such a fluency at deceiving that we are able to do it with out even thinking. They say that you are truly fluent in another language when you are able to actually think in that language. Us addicts, when we are using, we are able to think in lies. The come out with such fluidity that little to no thought is needed.
While I was using, I learned how to con everyone. You learn to play a role, to deceive. I became the quiet, rich girl when I was boosting to throw off suspicion. I was clean, when I was with my family. I never had a criminal record when I was at work. I easily morphed into who I needed to be in that current situation.
We lie to our families, our friends, our dealers, other addicts. The worst lies that we tell are to ourselves. Can we ever forgive ourselves for the lies that we tell, the pain that we cause? Can we forgive those who are close to us for the lies that have told to us?
While we hurt the people close to us, we hurt ourselves more. Most couples who use together are unable to continue a worthwhile relationship once they both get sober. Part of this is because they will often trigger each other to relapse. Part of this is because without the drugs, a good deal of the couple have little to nothing in common. Perhaps the largest issue is getting past all the lies and betrayals that the two have done to one another. I have seen couples do horrible things to each other. Boyfriends whoring out their girlfriends. Girls fucking every dealer that will let them. Both parties cheating on one another. It is hard enough to deal with this shit when ripped out of your mind, but sober it is usually too tough to bear.
At some point the lies catch up. Just because you don’t call someone out every time you are aware of the lies that are told to you doesn’t mean that you aren’t aware. I had a good feeling that my friend was lying about the gift cards, I was just hoping against hope that he wasn’t. A may be a lot if things, naive is not one of them.
It is interesting to note, however that the more adept we become at telling and discerning lies, the more we believe our own lies. Every dope head goes on and on, when they are high of course, about how we are going to get clean, tomorrow. Always tomorrow. We are going to do up all of these drugs and then we will get clean. Of course when we wake dope sick the next morning all of that changes. The need for drugs, the need to get well, to just not be sick takes over.
In order to really recover, to achieve lasting sobriety, is to stop lying to ourselves. We use these lies as an excuse to backslide. Before we even relapse, as soon as we start getting clean, we come up with reasons or excuses as to why we will fail. That way when we start using again, we are not heartbroken. How are we ever to succeed if we set ourselves up to fail? The answer is that we can’t.
We have to forgive ourselves for our lies. And stop the lies in order to achieve our ultimate goals of having and maintaining a healthy, substance free existence. In an earlier post I wrote about the need to let go. We have to forgive ourselves for the lies we have told, the sins we have committed. It is easy to want to throw ourselves in a self imposed purgatory, but for how long will this last? The refusal to let go of the past, the refusal to forgive ourselves ends up sending us back into a world of drug use.
That being said though, while it is important to forgive people who lie, do we ever forget? Can we ever trust someone who has repeatedly lied to us? Can we ever expect or people to forgive us for our past transgressions? If we can not or will not trust again, then should we feel worthy or deserving of peoples trust? I do not know, but I hope that the karmic retribution of forgiving ourselves and others transcends into making us, as recovering addicts, worthy of forgiveness. But first we must stop lying. Weather we are using or we are clean, we can not continually lie to,everyone around us (including the lies we tell ourselves) if we expect to ever get well.