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Secrets and Lies.

30 January 2013

I’ve recently hurt some people I care about. I try to console myself by telling myself that I wasn’t trying to be malicious. But I have to admit to myself that withholding information that other people would use to (maybe) make different decisions is not honest. I’m not going to describe the actual circumstances here. Suffice to say, I conducted myself badly. And as a result, people were wounded.

In the midst of this occurring, I got an email from a new reader of this blog. A woman with 5 days of sobriety, asking me for advice about whom to confide in about her sobriety. She didn’t want to be keeping secrets, but she also didn’t want to risk repercussions associated with being discovered as a person suffering from alcoholism. I told her that keeping secrets and not telling people things that are not their business are not the same thing. I further advised her to find a women’s meeting immediately, and listen to what they told her.

So, I need to apply my advice to myself. And pay close attention. The truth is, I can be very selective about what I think is “none of their business” when I fear that someone may act on the information in a way that doesn’t align with my desires. That’s selfish. It’s dishonest. I spoke to my sponsor about the situation. He agrees that I had an obligation to be upfront in ways that I wasn’t. The situation can probably not be set right, in any meaningful way. I simply have to accept that I hurt some people and learn from that. And go forward and be better.

I try to progress in life. I feel like I took a step backward recently, and I’m not proud of myself. What I know is that I rarely make the same mistake twice. And I owe it to everyone, including myself, to behave better.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 30 January 2013 16:48

    You have chosen to reflect on your behavior, and review whether you should be doing something differently, and act accordingly.

    I’ve been on the receiving end of information disparities that I’m sure were far more serious than what you’re talking about. All I ever wanted was for the other person to reflect on how their choices affected me, and to take responsibility and allow me to participate in choosing my own destiny. That never happened, and there were relationships where the only right action left was to destroy the relationship and accept that all the things that had happened were permanent, and would not be amended.

    The difference between the two scenarios is night and day. That’s a testament to how you choose to live your life.

    • 30 January 2013 17:07

      Thank you. But I don’t want to minimize my behavior.

      • 30 January 2013 17:18

        I don’t think you are, and I wouldn’t blow smoke up your ass if you were. The distinction is real. One path is denial, gaslighting, and a perpetuating cycle of harm. The other path is awareness and responsibility. So you take a deep breath and choose to walk in the light.

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