I’ve been pondering why it is that I couldn’t seem to quit smoking cigarettes, but quitting meth was easy. It seems weird. I mean, sure… there isn’t such a stigma associated with cigarettes, even though they can kill you through about 40 different cancers alone. And I’m at more or less the same point with smoking as I was with meth… it’s time to stop. It was time a while back already.
Then I remembered something I did when quitting meth that was different. I lied. I found a not so little white lie that helped me quite a bit. I had two reasons for lying:
- Day one of quitting meth, and I knew I was done.
- I also knew nobody would believe me. Fuck, I wouldn’t have believed me.
So I lied. I said I was already clean for a year. Then one year later at the start of September 2014, I told the truth. It was a shitload easier to say, “Hey, I lied a year ago when I said I was a year clean, but I am a year clean now.” Actually it wasn’t that easy – I was worried people wouldn’t believe me when I told the truth about the lie a year before. But nobody had a problem with it. That lie turned out to be one of the best things I’ve ever done. It took all the pressure off the beginning of my recovery. And by pressure I mean the stress caused by the expectations of others who knew my situation. The only people who knew were my mother and Megan, my ex, who were at home.
What I’m getting at is that lies aren’t always bad. That lie in particular helped me a great deal, and it allowed other people to have confidence in me, confidence nobody would have had if I’d told the truth. I am wary of anyone who deals in absolutes, anyone who insists that they despise lies, because that is itself a lie, likely a lie they believe. Everybody lies and anyone who judges you for lying alone is, in my experience, someone who should not be trusted. (For example, beware of a person in authority who claims to “value openness and honesty”. That’s code for, “Don’t lie to me but I will lie to you”.) I do prefer to tell the truth as much as possible, but lying itself is not always bad and definitely not always wrong.
Of course I can’t use the same lie for quitting cigarettes. I don’t have reason one as above. I don’t know I’m done. Why I don’t have that certainty with quitting cigarettes but I did with meth, I do not know. It sucks but that’s the way it is. Wish me luck then… I’m on day one not smoking cigarettes and I’m not gonna lie – I don’t know if I can do this.
Sometimes lies are good. But not this time.