May 18

Deception:  I need to hide

       Did you happen to watch the movie “A Few Good Men” with Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson?  Do you remember the famous one-liner that Jack delivers in the course of an investigation?  When asked for the truth, he replies:

 “You can’t handle the truth!”

         I also remember a time when I really could not handle the truth.  If you wanted to ruin my day all you had to do was remind me about myself.  I remember having an argument with my eldest daughter one evening several years ago.  She reminded me of my own weakness and pathetic course in life:  I had lost a business and a house.  When she spoke the truth I remember seeing red and raging like I’d never raged before.  It was not one of my prouder moments.

         When I was in business and things weren’t going well for me financially I would avoid looking at the monthly statements for fear that I would feel stressed and plunge into depression.  Not knowing kept me emotionlly ‘buoyant’ for a while until I got the dreaded phone call from the bank informing me that I was seriously overdrawn and checks were starting to bounce.  Sticking my head in the sand didn’t make the trouble go away; it just prolonged the inevitable.  

         A lot of friends had joined me in the lie about why I had failed at business and my financial life.  We blamed the government, the economy, my cutthroat customers in construction and advertising… “Don’t be too hard on yourself,” they would say in an attempt to make me feel better.

        “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”  I suppose there is some truth to that statement.  It wasn’t my truth, however.  When the going got tough, I went to sleep.  The truth scared the hell out of me.  I suppose I was afraid that what I believed about myself would actually come true.  And so I looked for a fantasy – even sleep – to fall into like a big, soft chair with comfortable arm rests.

         It is becoming clearer and clearer how I lie to myself when I accept the counterfeit pleasures and joys in life.  I can see how I ‘doop’ myself into believing that real enjoyment comes from things that don’t exist. 

           Tomorrow’s topic – “Locked in the dungeon of addiction”