Friday, December 27, 2013

Honesty 2.0

I wrote a post on honesty as it relates to recovery at one point. Here's the link:

I'm revisiting this issue in a different way, because I'm starting to realize that the world is made up of all kinds of people, both honest and dishonest. When I was younger, I always assumed that everyone wanted the world to be a better place with everyone getting along, a world in which people would strive to do the right thing and be real. Obviously that's not the case. Whether people lie for selfish reasons or are sick and can't control it, lies, unfortunately, occur all over the place. Of course, some of the reasons why people lie are more understandable than others.

When it comes to being embarrassed about addictions or behaviors, lying makes at least some kind of sense, or when someone lies in an effort to avoid hurting another person, most people can understand it, even though it's not exactly appropriate or just. I have to admit that I don't get why people are dishonest for selfish purposes, especially when the untruths are so easily exposed as such. Don't they feel icky when they engage in this kind of behavior? Don't they have trouble sleeping at night?

What I find baffling is when someone is caught in a lie and, instead of acknowledging it, sticks to the story, sometimes getting deeper into the dishonesty hole by creating new stories in an attempt to cover or support the first one. Either that or the person clings to the lie, insisting it's true when all evidence points in the opposite direction. Of course, there are those who simply ignore the topic when it's brought to their attention that you know they're not being above board.

People lie about dumb little things too. Recently someone told me about a song being on a certain playlist in 2005, long before the song was even out. Why lie about that? First, it's so easily proven wrong, and second, it's so trivial. I struggle to understand the motivation behind those kinds of lies. My mom insists it's insecurity on the part of the liar. She could be right, or maybe it could be the opposite, someone with too much of an ego to make an effort to do and say the right thing.

I should clarify that I'm not talking about two people seeing a situation differently. It's not about feelings that change or situations that evolve into something new. There are times when new information is brought into light, and a person can see things in a new way. These cases have nothing to do with outright lying. Withholding information and keeping secrets can mean you're slipping into the gray area, but how hurtful those errors in honesty can be to yourself or others is based on the situation.

Brutal honesty with yourself can be tricky matter. If you have to question it, you are probably on a dangerous slope. Usually you know you're either over the line or not, but sometimes it's not so cut and dry. I occasionally catch myself when it comes to my OCD behavior, and I generally know when I'm not being true to myself. Other times I'm not so sure, as training is supposed to be healthy, and I can easily get caught up in what I "should" do instead of what my body can handle.

With so much dishonesty in the world, it's hard to learn to trust, but there are people who aim to be above board. The key is to avoid those who can't resist manipulating the truth and surround yourself with people who aim to be authentic and real. It helps to remain honest when you are among others who are too.

I come back to this idea that it takes honesty to recover from an addiction. More than that, being honest is just a better way to operate in the world. We have so little in terms of knowing about others, so when someone lies, it creates unnecessary distance between individuals and lasting distrust and animosity. It shakes others and unfairly puts another person's reality in question.

I love this concept taken from the Goldfinch, a book I have yet to read. The quote isn't exact, but the idea is there:  "It's not about outward appearances; it's about inward significance." 

Sunday, December 15, 2013


I have let this blog slide. It has been forever since my last post, but I have had a brain full of swimming thoughts. It usually doesn't make for a good blog post when I sit down to write in that state.

The other day I ran into one of my old running buddies. We reminisced about our group and how much we missed being a part of it. It was a great core group of about five or six people with others who joined later. We ran with Bobby McGee, and, while I wasn't at my fittest, I was definitely making strides toward some kind of comeback.

As it turns out, the woman I bumped into had the same injury the doctors think I have, though mine is less catastrophic.  Her injury was severe, one of the worst cases anyone could imagine. It was so bad, in fact, that one doctor refused to operate. As a result, the surgery he did eventually get was not the usual arthroscopic procedure. Her recovery was complicated and long, but she is running again. It sort of gave me some hope, even though I now have additional foot issues that require attention.

So far, the diagnoses are:

  • labral tears in both hips with a very slight stress reaction on the right side.
  • Tendonitis in both upper hanstrings.
  • A very slight instability in the foot where the surgery was.
  • A slipped tendon and stressed plantar plate on my second toe in the right foot.

For right now, I'm just in a holding pattern, seeing which of these need more attention and which will work themselves out over time. I did get a shot of cortisone in one hip, mostly for diagnostic reasons. It was basically a Sophie's choice, as I could only get one shot. The doc basically said, "Pick a side." I picked the left, as the pain was more intense, even though the right showed more drastic tearing. If the pain is still there at the end of the month, that means it's more the tears that are limiting. The tendonitis pain was so sharp that I didn't even notice the groin pain until I got the cortisone shot.

Today I ran into another one of my running partners and was reminded of how much I miss running, especially with friends. She has been through a lot, and, despite her struggles, recently popped out a 3:40 marathon. She's 56 and was recently diagnosed with epilepsy. I cried after giving her a hug goodbye. I can't even begin to explain how much I miss running, and I can't remember the last time I ran without pain.   

The hormonal situation is better but not quite normal. I thought it was odd that my sports medicine doctor suggested I see a gynecologist after looking at my MRI. I guess he could see where a cyst has ruptured and some other issues simply by looking at the imaging. Weird.

I know this isn't the most uplifting post I have created, but, if nothing else, I am in good hands with my PT and the doctors, and I'm getting answers, even if they aren't necessarily the ones I wanted. The reality is that my PT is pretty fucking amazing. I just wish I could get to the point where I could do more actual PT. The process of getting a diagnosis can be long and painful. 

At some point, I want to create a full post about denial and how difficult is is for some people to admit they have a problem. Recently, someone pointed out an article about a guy who appeared to have a full-blown eating disorder. He claimed that he didn't have an eating disorder, but that his eating was disordered. That's like an alcoholic saying, "I'm not an alcoholic; I just can't control myself when I continually drink to the point of passing out and causing all kinds of damage." It reminded me of a lady who was open about her bulimia and mentioned that she just throws up a little bit, as if that's OK. She seemed to think she could control it if she wanted, but, because of the stress in her life she "needed" to do it. It helped her stay calm or something. Her rationalizing about the harmful behavior not being a problem demonstrated how easily people can fool themselves.

I catch myself with the OCD behaviors at times, so I have to constantly ask myself if what I'm doing is out of habit or if what I'm doing is to reach goals and/or be healthy. Sometimes that line can get blurred, but there are definite behaviors that we all know are crossing into that addiction area.

I will have to go into this more thoroughly at some point. I know I keep saying that I will be better about posting, and I hope to do that in the new year.