Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Little Lies

Been stuck for about 8 months. Not gaining weight, but no loss either. In OA, very aware of the 12-step recovery program, yet not getting past the 3rd step, thinking about the fourth step, but not really doing it. Maybe I'm afraid of what I'll find when I start taking an honest look at my defects of character. Maybe I'm stuck because I want to do it "right."

The exact wording of the 4th step is: 4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. Reading the AA "Big Book" and some OA guides, I see there are various ways to approach the inventory, all having in common that it should be written. Most suggest that we look at the problem areas in our lives and identify things we do that get us into trouble. I guess there are probably as many diverse ways to approach step 4 as there are people doing it. That's the key to getting past being stuck: just do it.

OK, so I've started writing about lies, about me telling fibs or lies.

For example, I've always lied about my weight. Never once have I told the correct weight when I've renewed my driver's license, always at least 20 pounds less than my actual weight. Never have I given my true weight when arranging a flight in a small plane. While this is probably common, especially among people who are overweight, it bothers me that I do it. It's being deceitful to myself and contributes to double shame, first that I am overweight and second that I lie about it.

Another example is telling lies to exaggerate, to make a better sounding story or to make myself seem better, more important, wiser. These are little twists of truth, starting with a kernel of truth, but get bigger and/or better than the actual truth, just a little embellishment here or there. Well, I don't like that about myself. Sometimes, hearing myself telling fibs of exaggeration, part of me wants to run away and hide from embarrassment.

A third example is telling lies to cover up mistakes, especially when I'm late or have not responded to an outside contact in a timely manner, in other words, to cover my procrastination. Some months ago, I was writing a delayed response to an email. A fib started rolling out about why it was taking me so long to respond. I paused thinking, "No! I don't have to make excuses. I only need to apologize for my tardiness." Since then, I've been telling cover-up lies much less often.

These are the little lies. There are a few big ones in my past. I'm going to write about them too, only not publicly on my blog. This is my 4th step starting point. I see a great deal of comfort and satisfaction down the road in not telling big or little lies anymore, because to stop means I will have to accept myself the way I am and be willing to be imperfect, to make mistakes and forgive myself.

* * * * * * * *
Gratitude for today: my husband, riding my motorcycle, sunshine


  1. my thought is this...i think you are an awesome person who i am so glad to have met...imperfections and all. try to love and accept yourself. we are all imperfect.

  2. I really admire your candidness. It is a brave thing to put yourself out there like that and I feel that you have just taken the first step on #4.

    I tell lies, the same little lies that you have just described. Exagerations, embellishments of the truth. I don't know why, I don't even plan to do it, the flourish just pops out of my mouth, leaving me wondering why I said that. The strange thing is, like you, I am very candid and open with big truths, when I have done something wrong I have to confess it and asked a direct question, I cannot lie (I hate keeping secrets, even the nice surprise type secrets!)

    I also admire the way you keep going, looking for new ways to overcome obsticles. I know that you will find a way to work through step 4.

  3. Kudos to you for taking this step:) I wonder what would happen if I or anyone else tried to tackle this same thing.

  4. Its hard to admit our weaknesses. But heck, lots of people don't even think they have any so you are in a good place.

    Fear of what others will think of us. Its hard to overcome that. A fib to make others think we are more than we THINK we are. Why do we think that is necessary when in truth there are many wonderful things about us all. Why don't see what other see.

    Someone put our blinders on. Its tough to overcome it. This 12 step program is working for you and helping you through it.

    I see so many wonderful things about you, even after you reveal a weakness. Just remember, we all have them.
    xx, Carol

  5. I've been working for years on rooting out excuses. As I read your post, I was thinking that these are just more little lies we tell ourselves... I tell myself, to make it seem okay, to rationalize a behavior.

    Then along comes the day we SEE ourself... and are willing to get honest with ourself, and willing to change.

    We'll get there. That willingness to forgive ourselves... huge.

  6. Seems that you are off to a good start! Don't be too hard on yourself, but love yourself for you endeavor in changing you life.

  7. I have a saying, "If I can't think of anything better, I tell the truth." Give it a shot. I think you will find it freeing.

    I'm a private pilot, by the way. Don't go trying to fool me now :-)


Thank you for taking the time to comment. I appreciate it very much.