The topic of our AA meeting last night was honesty, and one of the members said something that has stuck with me through the night and on into this morning. He said that honesty is just honesty; if people don’t like it, it is their issue, not yours. Does that mean we walk around telling people what assholes we think they are? Not usually, not if we want to have a job or friends. But really, how many times a day am I less than honest? Is simply not saying something being dishonest? Maybe not to you, if I am simply being quiet so as to avoid hurting your feelings, but am I being honest inside myself, where it really matters? Um, no.
It was funny that the topic was brought up last night, because yesterday two different (but related) things came up where I had to really just be honest with myself and in order to do that, I had to be honest with two other people. See, a person I know in AA gave another person my work email address without my permission. Person #2 is someone I used to know a really long time ago, a person who was not good for me to be around so I was almost glad when she went back out and disappeared from my life (because I couldn’t be honest with her in the first place and tell her that I really didn’t choose to be friends with her). Person #1 is simply someone I know in AA; we used to be on the service committees together, we both held offices at the same time, which is why she even had the email address to begin with. So Person #2 asked Person #1 for the address, and she gave it to her. Which for several reasons is simply not okay.
So I had to email Person #1 and tell her, “I am not happy that you gave person #2 my email address without my permission; there are reasons why I don’t have my personal information on the AA call sheet any longer, and it should go without saying that an email address is personal information.” Her response was that she thought that Person #2 and I were friends so she thought it would be okay, but she still shouldn’t have done it and she was sorry. Issue resolved.
I also had to email Person#2, though, and tell her that I really don’t want to be friends with her and could she please just stay the hell away from me because being around her or talking with her makes me feel like I am being sucked down into a whirling vortex of despair and that I really am trying to cut ties with people who made me think that throwing myself out of a car going 90 MPH seems a reasonable alternative to trying to fake a friendship with them and she is one of those people….only without actually saying that…and what I ended up saying was “I am puzzled as to why you would contact me after all this time; I hadn’t thought we were particularly friends. Glad to hear you are clean, hope your life continues to improve.” And HER response? “I always knewyou thought you were too good for me you bitch,” followed then by,” I always thought you were my best friend!” The two phrases seem very incongruent, don’t they?
But the thing is, the point I am getting at, is why is it truly so hard to be honest? And to SAY what you think/feel all of the time? Because it is. I have tried to be diplomatic and kind by simply keeping my mouth shut on someone else’s blog, but that backfired because I got **several** emails from the blogger asking me what I thought, so I told her, and you all know the rest of that story. Sometimes I write things here that are less than positive but always honest, and you all know how that works sometimes. And what I am starting to believe more and more is that people in general just don’t want honesty. We all know that when someone asks, “Hey, how are you?” they really don’t want to know; they want to hear you say, “Fine, how are you?” and then both parties can walk merrily away feeling like they have reached out to someone.
I don’t believe that anyone hasn’t been where I am; feeling stuck and as if life doesn’t change. I don’t believe that I am the only one who feels sometimes like it is all so fucking pointless as to boggle the mind, I know for a fact that I am not the only person in the world who has financial problems. Why are we not talking about it? Why is it so shameful these days to write when things are less than stellar? Why are we-especially we women bloggers-still working so hard to pretend to be doing better than we really are? I don’t get it. Keeping things inside me got me drunk. Pretending everything was fine when it clearly wasn’t got me drunk. Not feeling like I could be honest about who I really and truly was, warts and all, got me drunk. So I took my little break because I was being a pussy and nursing some wounded feelings, but I am done with that now, and am moving on.
Honesty. In the same breath that I tell you that I feel stuck and so sad I can’t breathe, or am terrified about how things are going to work themselves out, I can also tell you that the way the earth smelled after the rain on Sunday made me feel utterly and completely joyful; both are equally true. I can tell you that the kids are driving me crazy and I had a bad mom moment where I unleashed the Ugly Mom Voice and hated myself for letting her out, and then turn around and tell you that nothing-nothing- compares to having their arms around me, and again, one is no less true than the other.
So here it is again, my life, in all it’s messy, horrible wonderful crazy beautiful glory. It’s the only one I have, right? The only one that is truly mine, and I promise to use it as well as I possibly can.