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.


32 thoughts on “Um…

  1. Honesty is such a slippery slope. Sometimes out of fear you don’t say the truth because you want to protect someone’s feelings or you want to protect yourself. I used to do this quite a bit, but ever since my son was born I have not been afraid to just say what is on my mind to people especially if my son is involved. Maybe my animal instincts kicked in when I became a Dad. I don’t know. But I don’t know if honesty is the best policy because sometimes I don’t see how any good can come out of it. Hope all is well and your honesty policy worked out well for you. Take care.


  2. Beautiful! I love this post.

    I think that if people are not honest and don’t want honesty from others, they are not sincere or compassionate. They’re selfish and just don’t care about hearing how you’re truly doing. I care, and I know you do too! and I always like to know what’s going on with you whether it’s joyful or shitty. I love you!


    • @Ms. Moon, I think it is, too; and I mean not just not lying to people but the inner stuff, the stuff that makes me ashamed if I dont say it out loud, the stuff that makes me feel like I have cheated who I believe I am. If that makes sense at all.


  3. I, for one, love that you’re so honest. Your honesty has saved me more than once, and it’s one of your qualities for which I am most grateful. Clearly, Person #2 has issues. She can’t even figure out if she thinks you’re a bitch or her best friend! Yep, that’s all her, and you’re better off keeping her out of your life.
    And I love you.
    .-= April´s last blog ..It’s all about me =-.


  4. I am with you. I believe in HONESTY. For the same reasons, life is not perfect and sometimes it’s better to talk about it so you can move on…rather than choke on a lie.

    So go right ahead and tell the truth, and I’ll be here reading it. 🙂
    .-= Lynette´s last blog ..On Year Seventeen =-.


  5. Wow…I do not agree with your first commenter’s statement Honesty is a slippery slope but…anyway!
    We owe ourselves honesty…we owe others honesty but not intimacy!
    I don’t need to share my honest feelings with everyone…I can be quiet and choose not to share if it hurts another.
    But, I like you will choose brutal honesty over a lie any day!
    .-= Ronda’s Rants´s last blog ..It’s*Not*All*About*Me… =-.


  6. Oh, yeah. Sure. I know how you feel. I have a distant cousin who constantly forwards me tons of email jokes and hokey friendship things. Bugs me a lot. I just hit “delete, delete, delete”. All gone!
    .-= Krissa´s last blog ..Neurosis=normal. =-.


  7. I wrote about the dualing-feeling thing on my last blog too–I think it’s an inner “conflict” that helps us see the other side and not completely flip our shit. Life isn’t black and white, and being in the gray area (as mature adults should be, I think) allows you to see the joy in the pain, the blessings within the frustration.

    As for the honesty thing…well, I have more than once been accused of being TOO honest and while I never think I cross any lines, I’m sure I do in some people’s opinions (mostly those on the recieving end of all that honesty, I’m sure). Anyway, I feel like I only blog when I’m sad so I feel like someone who comes across as completely NOT happy or unable to find that happy medium. It’s all just a balancing act, I guess.
    .-= Steph´s last blog ..Old Souls =-.


    • @Steph, I think the balancing act is a hard one; I try to blog as much when things are good, but I write a lot better when things are maybe not so good. Still, just because I WRITE about the bad doesn’t mean I can’t also see the good.


  8. When you wrote:

    “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.”

    You forgot the honest part of that. And that was that you had not simply ‘kept your mouth shut on someone else’s blog’, but you had dangled a carrot by saying “Well, I do have something else I want to say, but I better not.” So, of course the question of what it was was asked.

    If you honestly have nothing to say, then say nothing.
    .-= won´s last blog ..Depression, Hurts =-.


  9. I think we all say we want honesty but sometimes don’t like it so much when it is tossed our way. I do believe it is the only way to go though. Life is just too damn short not to tell the truth.

    You are not the only one who has rotten times in her life or financial worries or problems with your kids – every single one of us does, and anyone who says they don’t is not being honest.

    I say let it all out. This is your blog and anyone who doesn’t like your honesty can hit the little x in the corner and just move along.
    .-= lynn´s last blog ..The Weekend My Head Exploded =-.


    • @lynn, And in my own experience, the harder it is to take the closer it hits to home. In the long run, though, I would rather deal with the hurt and pain that comes from hearing something I don’t want to hear-even though my first reaction is usually anger!-if it means maybe I can do something different the next time.


  10. The hardest part about being honest with others is being honest with ourselves. Is being honest with others going to reflect something back at us that we don’t want to see?

    Blogging is like RL because we show people what we want them to see. The fine line between honesty and overshare is a hard one to walk.
    .-= Dingo´s last blog ..Pound Of Flesh =-.


  11. And one more thing…

    Several of the blogs I read (or used to read, I should say) were under the guise of being honest but felt as if it were a really a platform for a poor me pity party. I have little patience with people who whine and moan if they’re not going to do something about it or if they are writing “honestly” just to get hits from people who love to see a train wreck. Everyone feels down from time to time and it’s fine to put things out there to get support and affirmation but the constant barrage of “look how horrible my life is” gets old. Fast.

    I never feel that way with your blog. You write about ups, downs, and feeling up even when you are down, and feeling down even when you have reason to smile…it’s all real.
    .-= Dingo´s last blog ..Pound Of Flesh =-.


  12. “Keeping things inside me got me drunk.”

    You have no idea how badly I needed to see this sentence today. Thank you.

    And you’re right, we do work awfully hard at our happy appearances. I’ve always been drawn to blogs that just tell the truth, whatever that truth might be. I don’t have to agree with it, I just feel comfortable inside the honesty.
    .-= maggie, dammit´s last blog ..write what you know (home sweet home) =-.


  13. Yes, being honest is important. The little lies we have to tell just to keep friends and jobs have galled me my entire life. I used to swear I would never hide my true feelings. Hehe.

    It galls me every time I tell my MIL “I love you.” Because I actually want to rend her head from her shoulders for being such a horrible mother.

    I was going to say something else entirely, but my little brother interrupted me and now it has slipped my mind……..
    .-= FreedomFirst´s last blog ..Fun, family, and all that. =-.


  14. Honesty is a really interesting thing, isn’t it? It’s so funny, we’ll often be watching TV or a movie and I’ll say to Justin ‘if they would just say what they ACTUALLY MEAN’ none of this would be happening! I agree that we shouldn’t be blatantly mean just to be mean, but why can’t we be honest about our feelings and about telling people what we really need?
    .-= Rachael´s last blog ..The First Time =-.


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