Honesty. I’ve written about it before but I don’t tire of pondering the subject. If you tire of hearing about it, well, I’m sorry for that. I just find the human capacity for calculation of truth and lies a fascinating phenomenon. Personally, I tend to be truthful to a fault. Even if it would serve me better to tell a half-truth at times, I generally speak true. I normally speak from my heart. On more than one occasion, this propensity has gotten me into some trouble. Sometimes, it’s better to say nothing at all. As much as I know this, I still trust too easily. Actually, I don’t know if I trust people too easily or just feel like I’d be doing myself a disservice to go against my nature and keep something inside.
Some people are really good at lying. Sometimes I envy those people. I certainly know that it would have been a bit easier on some special people in my life who were aware of my eating disorder if I could have left out the gritty details that left them reeling and unable to do a thing about how I was treating myself. That’s the thing about the truth- even if you know exactly what is going on, there is often nothing you can do to change it. I could be told until I was sick of hearing it (and I was) that I should change my ways, but until it reached a point beyond any inkling of control I wasn’t able to change. I wasn’t willing to change.
So while I was honest even in the toughest of times, I don’t think that made my struggles any easier for myself or my family and friends. In fact, I’ve learned in recovery that there are times when it’s better to evaluate a situation and really consider how much of my heart to wear on my sleeve. There are people in my life (mainly on the fringes) who don’t know a thing about my disorder. As much as it was hard for me to not tell them about both my struggles and my triumphs, I genuinely believe that it was the best decision I could make. It’s not that I am ashamed of my past- quite the opposite, I think that I wouldn’t be the person I am if it weren’t for my journey. However, the people I haven’t told might not have understood that I have learned a lot and grown from my recovery- they might not have used the information in a way that would help me or my recovery. That’s the other thing about the truth- though it is so important to be blatantly honest with some (I have never omitted anything from my treatment team, for example), there are instances in which saying too much can get one into trouble.
I think that honesty is a wonderful thing. I pride myself in my ability to lay it all on the line with my trusted treatment team, my close friends and my mother. I’m even writing a book that really reveals the whole truth- a tell-all if you will. And while it might never be published or even read, it’s important for me to get it all out there so that I don’t forget how far I’ve come. What I have learned, however, is that honesty goes both ways. If someone is genuine and honest with me, I can open my heart. While I still don’t lie, and I often don’t even think I could, I’m really working on surrounding myself with people with whom I feel comfortable- those who I can really trust and who deserve my honesty.