I went to the doctors last week about my tinnitus. He shrugged muttered about not much can do, poke some viewy thing in my ear etc. I was honest with him about my exact symptoms. Now that sounds dumb but as an alcoholic I spent years and years lying. I covered stuff up, esp my drinking, but also I would make stuff up to impress or divert people, I would not say something if I was struggling to describe it too in case they thought me stupid. I tried to explain some of the physical feelings in my ear as well as the noise. He hmmed and erred and decided to prescribe me a drug – “… that probably won’t work”. However it has. Still there, still annoying but on a scale of 10 it’s gone from a 7 – 9 to a 2 – 4 most of the time. Super.
Now this episode of honesty made me think more about the “rigorous honesty” I’ve learnt in the AA programme. Oh I stopped the distraction lies instantly since there was no need really but then I slowly over a long time realised through the programme Steps 4,5… 6,7 and 10 that I have to look at my honesty with myself. Often you hear people say “Oh I wouldn’t tell that them for their own good”… really? Maybe but is it really since it’ll expose a defect of character in me, jealousy, lust, greed etc. Why do I do somethings and not others? My procrastination etc. etc. all of them I have to look underneath my initial self-talk and find the real reason for me. In most cases it doesn’t change my action – i.e. I still wouldn’t necessarily confront the person I have a resentment with since it would unnecessarily injure them but I expose that I’m not just doing this to spare their feelings but also because of my fear, desires or whatever.
I’ve heard in AA “Your secrets will kill you” – meaning if you hold secrets in they will gnaw at your conscience until you need the balm of alcohol, or some other addictive behaviour, to change how you feel about it. These are those secrets for me, not who I kissed once at school behind the bike sheds, that will cause that the secrets where I don’t admit my real motives. And my mind plays a good trick of trying to hide them and dissuade me from looking at times.