The Truth....You Can't Handle The Truth.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

A very important person in my life and I are having a very big struggle. Could in fact be a moment that defines the future.

To say that I'm upset about this isn't even close to the right words. It's breaking me into a million little sand pebbles that will never assemble as glass again.

And the entire ugly thing has to do with me and my addiction to food and how it has taught me to lie...not just about food, but about life. You see, I want to protect people from who I really am. Do you know this feeling? If you've ever gone to a potluck or some other food oriented event, eaten very little and then later binged, you know what I'm talking about.

In version 2.0 of me, I was a pastor. A staff associate pastor who's day job was running my consulting company and my God Job was being the worship slash young adults slash building handyman slash financial officer slash gardener, putting in about 100 hours a week total at the two jobs. One of the groups that our church ministered to were those in a halfway house recovery program. At first, I was enthralled to be around the guys from the "Houses". They all had stories, all were trying to love God and all were completely full of it. Sorry, but that's the deal with addicts. These guys, while being amazing and wonderful men, had lives of hiding and protecting others from their addictions and so they became masters of the "the story". A while into my job I began to see this so often that it just became the norm, not to really believe them. Some of them were not so crafty..."Hey man, I played drums for Hendrix", said the guy who was clearly not Mitch Mitchell.

And others were very crafty, like the gentleman who was one of the finest carpenters I have ever seen who told me of carpentering around the world and as good as he was, it was believable. Later, his program director told me that he had never been outside of the county that we lived in, unless he was in prison. I guess all that time reading National Geographic gave him some good story making ability. I wasn't a very good pastor. No, wait, I was excellent. No...I was a good musician not a good I was a crappy guitar player, but I sure loved the kids in the young adults I was a master at fixing the copy machine. That is to say, the court of public opinion on me as a clergyman made it impossible to be good.

During the time of Pastor Dave, I began to gain weight again. Nothing new. This time, however, my heart started a little twitch of a strange beating and tests confirmed that the murmur that had been heard as a kid was indeed getting worse. A sign from and get out of the 100 hour week business. Time to leave behind being a pastor. I wasn't very good at it...anyway.

However, in looking back, one of the things that was killing me in that job was the fact that the economy that supported my construction oriented consulting was fast folding and business was folding. Except for, I didn't believe this, so I kept at the Poker table playing out all my chips, I never told anyone at church how it was going. Never admitted that my business of 17 years was all but dead.

Version 3.0 had me merging what little was left of my company with another company and working in the same business as a sales person more than just consultant. Miserable, was I. Miserable indeed. No Jedi. By now my waistline was really growing until I got to a all time high of 435. I told everyone 380. Liar. But they believed me (at least they said they did) and it went from there.

But see, that's been my MO...lie to protect me. Lie to protect others. And for the most part, the little lies were never caught. Mostly all to do with food. Sometimes to do with my ADHD induced time management skillset of skill.

But anything to do with my addiction, the lies are easy. I mean seriously...I know that the loved ones around me can't handle the truth. They can't handle the story of how I stopped at every In and Out Burger between san francisco and sacramento once, just to see if I could because I was sad. They can't handle the truth of how I would binge every time I was by myself in a hotel room...afraid and alone (I used to do 230 nights a year on the about do the math). They want to accuse me of not being able to account for time...thinking that there is another woman, when the truth is, I'd rather date a pizza and a pitcher of beer. Exercise...come on. So easy to say "I'm headed to the gym, when they call and suddenly the gym is Wendy's. Although I have to admit, I've been kicking in the gym for a few months, but also enjoying my, "I'll just get a bean burrito from taco bell" cool-downs.

Version 3.0 of Dave is a master crafts man of telling people what they need to hear, because he thinks, like Colonel Nathan Jessup in the pic above, that they can't handle the truth. And in a way, they can't. But as Lt. Daniel Kaffey, played by Tom Cruise in the movie A Few Good Men, proves, the truth is what everyone deserves.

A very cherished and amazing loved one is about to wash their hands of me because my addiction to food has taught me so well to lie. And like that recovering addict who was a great guy (still is) and was a great carpenter (still is) I have a need to tell a bigger story than what my own really is. Insecure, sure. Afraid, you bet. Crazy, ok...I'll take that.

The Dave that some of you are reading here...the down, dour Dave..he doesn't exist in most places of my life. I am, after all, completely OK. Yeah right. Totally OK at 420 pounds and what's all the worse, I've been telling this person, who just wants me to make my next birthday without being dead, that I'm doing it. The excuses happen (my knee hurts...etc), but any damn fool can see, I'm kidding myself.

My loved one, who is thinking that they don't want to be the kind of person who would be angry all the time at the addict, has started to see that in other areas of my life, truth isn't always first. And so, they are mad and upset and are considering being done with me. I would be devastated. My angel would be gone? No. Not possible. But yet...yes...they hurt enough to say...I wish I knew how to quit you. (I'm straight..sorry boys).

Inside, I want to defend myself. I want to fight back because I am no bank robber, rapist, never stole from the 7-11, never took two bagels out of the bin and told the clerk I had one in the bag (actually it was three in the bag). Do you see. The addict in me is massing up my life and if I don't get this under control everyone...every single person in my life is going to look at me, as I proclaim the benefits of SparkPeople and salads...that I am a damn liar and worse...they might be hurt by it.

My fear...that I won't be fun anymore. Won't be all "Big Dave Rocks". Wont have anything to say. Won't know anyone. Won't be the life of the party. Won't be the smartest man in the room. I won't be interesting. Might as well be dead.

"Death...what do you all know about Death" --Tom Berringer as Staff Sgt. Barnes in Platoon.

And that tells me that I have no idea how to live outside the shadows that I make to hide in. Certainly that means I need help and sitting by the phone waiting for Jillian Michaels or Bob Harper to call isn't going to cut it as far as getting that help. So I am here and if this isn't enough....well then...there has to be more.

I'm destroyed inside. I fear I have lost that which can never return. Is there any way for an addict to really say he is sorry without it sounding like he needs enabled?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Step one is always being honest with yourself. You've done this. You're succeeding, you are on your way. I, too, struggled with much of you speak of here. I felt to go forward in truth would equal death. I feared the truth as much as I feared a real knife in my heart. I live in truth now, and life is better than I ever believed possible. One step, one day, one breath at at a time, you can do this!
    4266 days ago
  • KSIGMA1222
    1. I have found the only person you can lie to is yourself.
    2. Learn to love yourself no matter what state or weight you are in or at. You are doing this for you and you must learn to love you. May be easy to say but seeming impossible to believe and mean when you say it and so easy to go back and bash yourself.

    Hard to love yourself when you lie to yourself, for then you do not believe or trust well you know who!
    4279 days ago
    You have taken step 1 and admitted your problem. Do not say you are sorry. Take step 2 - For today - just today - make different choices. Log on here and ask for help. Log your food honestly for yourself. And move! I'm rooting for you!

    4281 days ago
    Dave, please know that you are not alone. You think you're the only fat person to ever lie about food and exercise? HELLOOOO?? What makes you that special? Seriously, I just wrote a blog entitled "I admit it - I'm FAT". That didn't come easily, it took me a long time to say that... but I digress. Bottom line, to answer your final question about saying sorry without encouraging the enabler is to stop talking about it and start doing it.

    Does that sound harsh? Sometimes, reality is harsh. You are obviously a very smart, articulate, WITTY guy. You know there are good qualities in you - you are more than your disease! But you can't get well and still remain in denial. Sorry, that just doesn't work out real well... as you probably have figured out already.

    I think you can do it. You can change your life around. You can keep your loved one, or you will find another to love you - but you have to get well, one step at a time.

    I'm rooting for you!!
    emoticon Tammy
    4282 days ago
    You ARE here and that IS enough. As for apologies, truth doesn't need an apology, just faith. If there is one thing I've learned on my Spark journey it's that getting back up is the key to falling down - over and over and over again. Forget the falling down, just resolve to always get back up. You ARE here. Thanks for sharing this very personal blog. I believe you have put words to what many struggle with every day. Thank you!
    4282 days ago
    ahh I read this and i hurt. i hurt for you, and for me, and for anyone thats been there or is there. I think this is the MO of the large person (i cant bring myself to say fat--see what i mean?)
    I know if someone I loved came to me with that heartfelt gut-wrenching honest confession and asked me to forgive them i would. and if they were honest and said they needed help to beat it i would help. and yeah trust would take a bit but i would keep an open mind. I hope your loved one does the same!!
    4282 days ago
    We all have a part of ourselves that we hide from the world. Apparently, you are better at it than most. I hope Dave 4.0 will come through this strong, honest, and feeling loved.
    4282 days ago
  • ATR_1983
    When i first started sp i told no one that i was trying to loose weight. I was not happy but mostly everyone around me did not know. I was a huge binge eater. I use to eat so much stuff. I once ate 2 large pizzas. You know what really helped me was telling those around me. It holds me accountable. your weight do not define you. You will still be funny and have all the qualities that your friends and family love about you. I know you can and will do this!
    4282 days ago
    You have had the guts to say what many of us feel and how we actually conduct ourselves.
    You have been brave enough to walk into the light and share about the dark, cobwebby corners of your heart. Now it's time to clean house!
    Just like the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz, you actually have the Courage, you've had it all along, but it was buried. Now you have the support of many and we will walk with you down the yellow brick road and though dangers lay in wait and set backs lurk around the corners, you have linked arms with a great community and we will hold you up when your strength ebbs.
    I will be praying for you.
    4283 days ago
    Being as honest and forthright with yourself and others as you've been with this blog...

    THAT'S the way out of addiction!

    You're clearly laying the foundation for great things to follow!

    Woo hoo! :-)

    Don, a fellow addict in recovery (sugar, refined carbs, etc.)
    4283 days ago
    It really doesn't start with saying "I'm sorry" it starts with being honest, with yourself, and with everyone you come in contact with. If they can't handle the truth, so be it. I would bet that most whom you think couldn't handle the truth actually would be relieved with the truth rather than another lie. Many of us have been there--got a coupon for 2 for 1 Big Macs, but no one to go with, great, I'll grab em, sit alone in my apartment and eat them both plus some super size fries and large drink(Yep, been there)--but, you CAN'T do that anymore. You have laid yourself out before a lot of SP faithful and we will do our best to keep you accountable, but it all starts with you. You have to do this for YOU, not for your loved one, not for your image, etc. I fought this thing for a long time before repeatedly crying out to God finally admitting my slothfulness and gluttony and knowing I was powerless to do it without Him. It's a struggle everyday but it gets easier and now, I couldn't do the big mac/fry thing if I wanted to (thank goodness!) It's a baby step by baby step process and it starts with honesty, relinquishing old JUNK--emotionally, physically and any other way possible--and a commitment to yourself to do the hard stuff EVERYDAY starting now. If you alienate some folks along the way, that may happen but it's now or never. Sorry so long-winded but I watched my Dad be heavy and not take care of himself forever and now we are shuttling him to dr. after dr., in and out of hospitals, amputations of one limb after another, failing heart, etc, etc etc for the past two years and I wouldn't wish that on anyone else--especially not someone as talented as you. So, DO IT! YOU CAN, WE ALL BELIEVE IN YOU!
    4283 days ago
    Lucky for you your fat doesn't define you unless you let it. Many of us are considered the 'funny, fat friend/relative, etc" because we've used it as a defense mechanism for so long. Just because you lose the weight doesn't mean you have to lose the things that have made up your great personality and if the people around you want to keep you in that limiting box, that's kind of their problem, ya know? It truly is the weirdest thing that others have strong feelings about people in their lives losing weight. I've dealt with saboteurs in my previous own family. I've read stories that would break your heart about how people have turned their backs on people who were losing weight. Uh, it effects them HOW??? I can see how someone wanting to get healthy, live longer and not get a host of obesity related diseases would be off putting to them. *rolling eyes*

    You do what you need to do for yourself and hope that the people that mean the most to you are along for the ride. If they aren't, you'll have to find some way to accept it no matter how hard it is. (But keeping my fingers crossed you don't have to go down that road!)
    4283 days ago
    oops. browser duplicated the comment. nevermind! emoticon
    4283 days ago

    Comment edited on: 10/1/2009 9:23:49 AM
    A former friend, workout buddy and addict (and habitual liar and bull$hitter) once told me that he couldn't help "taking the easy way out" (by lying).

    My reflexive response was, "Dude, there AREN'T any easy ways!" And I think that's the truth. Either you have to be honest in each moment and have integrity NOW, or you have to pay later, and the layaway price can be Very steep, as you have indicated in your post, here.

    I don't know if he ever got his life together, or not. I hope so, but I doubt it.

    I hope YOU do! But accountability is key, here.

    And ACTIONS speak much more loudly than WORDS. You can't talk your way out of this. Unfortunately you can't "say" you're sorry in a way that has any meaning because you have cheapened your own word by habitually lying.

    You have to DO it.
    4283 days ago

    Comment edited on: 10/1/2009 9:27:49 AM
    What a thought provoking post - wow! I could try to give you all the advice in the world, but you have to make the conscious choice to follow it.

    Keep the faith and build your strength - both mental and physical! You must choose to take those steps, but it does help when you keep those steps small in the beginning.
    4283 days ago
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