Thursday, August 05, 2004

I Caught Myself Lying Again

I got a letter published in the Dallas Morning News letters to the editor today. Either they, or I, misspelled a word in the last paragraph, which changes the entire connotation of the letter. That sucks. If you want to see it, it is here but you’ll have to register to see it. Mine is titled: Bush rejects 9-11 plan.

I lied to work today and told them that I had medical stuff to do. I really hate lying and do not enjoy doing it anymore. When I was drinking I lied constantly. I was good at it, I practiced it and I deliberately sought to hone my skills as a liar. That’s one of the things an addict does. You have to lie to protect your addiction. You have to lie to live with yourself. The fact that I took pride in my lying, well, that was my own sickness on top of my addiction.

Anyway, I felt I had to lie to work because I could not just say, “Oh, by the way, I’m going to be an interview with company O for lunch.”

I could have simply asked for a long lunch to do it. However, I would have had to explain being all dressed up. I have deliberately been dressing down over the past nine months. Jeans rather than Dockers. Even when I did wear khaki slacks I did not wear button down dress shirts. Or ties. It would have been an awkward thing for me to do.

So I lied. Was I wrong to do so? Yes. Was it necessary? Yes. Did I have to play it up for sympathy? No, but I did anyway. I told them I was having something medical done, they expressed sympathy and I played them for more. That is what bothers me right there.

See, my initial lie was told because of a feeling that I had no choice—if I wanted to go to the interview I would need a full day off. I think this lie falls into the “do I look fat in this dress?” category—telling the truth would simply be stupid and get me into trouble. It is still not the right thing to do, but the best of a set of bad options.

That secondary lie though, seeking sympathy, that is a much more serious matter. That is slipping into the behavior patterns of active alcoholism. It is horribly unhealthy. I am manipulating people to get the emotional reaction I want. It is sick to do that.

I’m not sure how to handle it. I’m really not. I have to protect the first lie that I told, so I cannot make direct amends for the second lie. What a mess!

This is why I do not like to lie anymore. I have created, in my head, a real mess that needs straightening out and I do not know how to do that.

I’ll post later how the interview goes.