Honesty. What a fucking word. Don’t you think?
It’s a principle that is hard to come by, and when we do – do we want it or would we rather live in the “ignorance is bliss” world? More importantly, do we ourselves want to be completely honest? Or would we rather omit parts of ourselves and keep secrets?
On Living a Lie
I used to be a “I want honesty but I keep a lot to myself” kind of girl. Secretive should’ve been my middle name, so much so that even I became a mystery to my own self. I managed to live a lie and keep the honest truth even from me. Magic, you say? Nope, mental ill health.
I know many people believe that they are simply secretive, but I bet that there is an unhealthy reason for this behaviour. Sorry to burst your bubble. I learned this the hard way and would hate for you to go through it that way too.
I dare you to have a word with yourself now, look deep within and try to work out why you are so secretive or why you lie. Why do we avoid honesty? You might even notice that this habit is causing you a lot unhappiness.
Some might say:
- “I don’t like talking about myself”
- “it’s emotionally slutty to be that open & honest” (me; I said those words once upon a time – this used to be a personal favourite)
- “talking about things honestly is just dramatic and attention seeking” (I said this too)
- “it could upset someone else” (yep, you got it; I said this also) – in my opinion, if our honesty hurts someone, it’s better that they know the honest truth than carry on living a lie.
I was robbed of the honesty in a long-term relationship, and it’s something that I am still coming to terms with; the fact that I will never know the honest truth. The only truth I know is what I found out myself (hidden in messages and nasty photos. ew), but I will always wonder about the things that I wasn’t told about. It’s cruel and it hurts.
Truth is, I have spent most of my twenty-eight years of life being secretive and always going out of my way to lie to myself and put on a fake happy face for others. It’s slowly becoming clear to me that being honest is great, it’s the healthy option. As scared as I was of it, it’s set me free.
Honesty is part of Self-Care
When it comes to me being honest I’m starting to care more about how I feel rather than whom I hurt with my honesty (but it is also better for others to know the honest truth); I omitted parts of myself for years and kept the honesty well hidden, mostly to avoid upsetting others.
Now I think: “fuck that”.
If I hurt you, I’ll own up now. I’m sorry, but I am only human. And if you hurt me, well I want to know and I am going to talk about it honestly too, because it is my story and I need to own that shit so I can move on.
Nowadays, I’ll have a conversation with myself about the situation, then I’m honest with whomever it affects (if possible, as if it’s something that happened years ago then unfortunately some people are no longer in our lives and we can’t get to them, but being honest with ourselves goes a long way), and then I share it openly with others, with the hope that:
- my story might help others too
- I benefit from being honest, as I own my story by doing so
- I change my self-destructive habit of self-sabotaging and living a lie
- someone else may have some great advice on how I can cope with my honesty!
Since starting this process, I can honestly (ha! that word again) say that I feel lighter. Seriously, this huge weight has been lifted and I’m doing so much better when it comes to self-care.
I wasn’t happy, but I lied about that even to myself. And it cost me my health. Now, I dig deep and I’m honest, even when it hurts (which, most of the time, it does), and this helps me deal with the issue and accept my life for what it is, rather than lie about it to portray a life that others want me to have.
Sharing Honestly is Awesome
Lately, I’ve been extremely active on social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest (I’m addicted). If you follow me on those sites, well then you must have noticed my random (but wonderfully weird. She hopes!) posts pop up regularly.
Up until this year, I have always hated social media – this might surprise some people, because I am now a social media whore (And proud!).
I was never into it at all. Then, a few months ago, I started to post aboutmy life, and I speak honestly about some real deep shit too – I’m not sure you saw on Instagram the post about my abortion? Or the one about my crashing into another depressive episode? On my blog, you may have come across the ones of when I revenge cheated on my ex-boyfriend? Bottom line is, I prefer to be honest now.
It’s all out there, on social media and on this open diary that I like to call “This is Mental”. And I will keep sharing my honest words. As it’s not only doing me a world of good, but the support and kind words that other lovely souls send my way, is pleasantly overwhelming! Messages such as: “Hey, I’m going through this too! Thank you for sharing, it’s nice to know I’m not alone.”
That’s been one of the best things for me in my recovery; finding out that I’m not the only one going through some serious shit, I’m not alone. I’ve also met some wonderful, inspiring, incredible people by simply being honest.
Sometimes I get messages saying: “Are you sure you want to share this?” (actually, I received that once and it was from my ex-boyfriend, but still). And I am sure. I lied to myself and others for years, I created this amazing, happy mask and I wore it day in, day out. My good and bad days looked very similar. It became so natural to put on this fake me that even I didn’t realise that I wasn’t okay (Sometimes the “unwell” me would show her face, but it was mostly when I was so intoxicated that the person I was honest to would probably question my words, so I’m not sure that counts).
I lost track of what was Real
Thanks to my recent found love for HONESTY, loved ones now approach me and say: “oh my god, you didn’t tell me about this or that or the other. Why didn’t you talk to me about it at the time?”
I was lying so well that even I lost track of what was real, I could no longer see right from wrong, I didn’t know what I was feeling or why. It all became this blur; I was floating through & living a lie.
I grew up being witness to dysfunctional relationships, so I came to believe that dysfunctional behaviour is normal. It’s not until finding a good therapist that I’ve been able to go back and learn the honest truth about my past, my present and the potential of my future. Now I can feel the pain that I ignored and I can live honestly. It does hurt, it is by far the most painful thing I’ve had to do; to drop the act; to forget everything that you held on to and start all over again. That’s fucking hard.
However, it is also incredibly exciting. How far will I go now that I no longer live a lie?
I’m becoming the real me by being honest with what’s not acceptable, plus what I can and cannot do. Furthermore, I am setting honest values and healthy (plus honest) boundaries, and my life is changing drastically.
For the very first time, I’m honestly, truly and deeply present in my own life (except when I dissociate, but now I’m even aware of when that happens too. I wasn’t before, and boy was that scary!)
So. Now, I invite you to go find your honest truth, share it and own it! I do recommend you do it with the help of a therapist, but that’s up to you.
However you do it, I guarantee that it will set you free.