You know this story. He lies. He lies. He lies. Then, recovery! He’s honest. He’s honest. He’s honest. Then, relapse! He lies. He lies…
My son, Al, visited recently and I was so happy. He looks good. He’s sleeping well and eating regularly. He’s gained 20 lbs! He was helpful and we had good conversation. He helped me in the kitchen and taught his sister a new card game.
Then I got a call from my ex. “I went to change his bedding and found another balloon and syringe behind the bed.”
The thing about this is — what’s true? Al says that was left over from his last relapse. This could very well be true. No one had moved the bed since that time. And when using, he certainly didn’t pay attention to where he put things, so it’s reasonable that he didn’t remember it was there until it was found.
And then there’s that tug in the pit of your stomach saying…”He might be lying.” I hate how the lies that support addiction make it so very hard to believe the addict in recovery. At the time when he can most use people to believe him … when he is really being honest … we just cannot help but doubt.
In his article, “Addiction, Lies and Relationship” (http://www.bma-wellness.com/papers/Addiction_Lies_Rel.html), pscyhologist Floyd P. Garrett writes:
The first casualty of addiction, like that of war, is the truth. At first the addict merely denies the truth to himself. But as the addiction, like a malignant tumor, slowly and progressively expands and invades more and more of the healthy tissue of his life and mind and world, the addict begins to deny the truth to others as well as to himself. He becomes a practiced and profligate liar in all matters related to the defense and preservation of his addiction, even though prior to the onset of his addictive illness, and often still in areas as yet untouched by the addiction, he may be scrupulously honest.
This is one of the hardest things about addiction for me to handle. There are a few things I purposefully taught my children when they were young, in an effort to give them tools for adulthood. One of them was: “Be honest. The truth will clear your path.” I warned them of the danger of lies — that lying to others and lying to yourself is pretty much the same thing. That an honest life is a worthy goal. And then here comes addiction – stealing the truth to feed its own growth.
I pray often about this, asking God to defend the truth in my children. But I still don’t know about Al. I think he was being honest. But only time will tell.