Muddy the Truth

After examining what we as alcoholics should do before starting the day, we took an in-depth look at the motive of self-pity. Looking at the second motive that we’re warned about on page 86, we see that recovering alcoholics are dealing with habitual lies.

On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives. Under these conditions we can employ our mental faculties with assurance, for after all God gave us brains to use. Our thought-life will be placed on a much higher plane when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives, page 86 AA.

Deception: like muddy ruts in the road to Happy Destiny

Pitfall # 2: The muck of dishonesty is muddy. It’s a blurry-eyed condition that grows. After a while, dishonesty is so pervasive that even the person spreading the lies begins to be deceived. I’ve known some pretty smooth liars and I remember the profundity of discovering that what started out to be a twisting of the truth ended up being fabricated whoppers and within a few months, the fabricator himself was deceived!

When it comes to alcoholism, we all lie. I lied to my best friend when she asked if I was going to quit drinking for the evening. Oh, sure. I believed it for the moment. But the next moment, after she had left the office, I’d decide to just have one more glass of wine, which led to two, which led to the bottle, of course. If there’s a part of a bottle left she will know I’ve been drinking, I’d rationalize. So of course I’d finish the bottle. After a few nights, I knew I was lying, but I wouldn’t admit it to myself because I didn’t want to quit (lying or drinking, either one.)

Last year I got to visit London, so what the British do is of interest to me. Last summer a poll was published regarding lying. It ranks the top lies told by the British, which sound all too familiar.

According to the survey covered by CBS news, British men lied to their partners most often about their drinking habits while women mostly lied to hide their true feelings.

Men:

  1. I didn’t have that much to drink
  2. Nothing’s wrong, I’m fine

Women:

  1. Nothing’s wrong, I’m fine
  2. I don’t know where it is, I haven’t touched it

Interestingly, men most often lied about drinking. Women lying about drinking came in 4th on the list. Why do we lie about drinking? I think it’s obvious that we choose to lie because we think it’s easier than facing the truth and facing others’ reactions to the truth. Truth becomes a thing to fear.

I’ve heard around the tables from alcoholics that the standard drinking lie is going to be an admission of ¼ the amount of consumption. That works for me.

Take an example from my own story:

The doctor asked, How much do you drink?

I answered, I’m cutting back. (Evasion is right up there with lying– it’s deception, a lie with a good curve on it.) When he continued to question me I gave him the socially acceptable answer, of course.

I said, a glass of wine with dinner.

Mind you, he’s writing out a prescription to continue my Prozac for depression while we’re talking. We all know alcohol is a depressant. I didn’t want to be depressed, but I couldn’t give up the self-medication, either. I wanted to keep drinking. Here comes the memorable comment.

Given your family heart history, I think it would be good if you double that.

Double the one bottle? That’s great!

It was less than two weeks before I tried to kill myself in a blackout… Doctor prescribed blackout. (If I’m going to lie about it.)