One of the easiest people to lie to is the one looking back at you every morning in the mirror. Yep! From little white lies to whoppers, we can make ourselves believe anything. Even analytical red-flag wavers like me can convince themselves to accept a complete falsehood.
The biggest and easiest lie I tell myself is one I learned to survive, “You can handle this yourself.” Now, please don’t take me wrong. Plenty of people had lives worse than mine when I was growing up, but my family, nuclear and extended, could have made one of the modern “reality” television shows look like The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.
I won’t go into detail here. I am, however, working on a memoir that may be published one day. It will lay everything out in living color, at least narratively. I’m not the writer Mark Twain and others were in this respect, but I can get the point across at times, which helps readers see things from my perspective.
The point here is that I grew up believing I could not trust anyone and did not need anyone’s help. The problem with believing that is I could take care of business without help much of the time. My delusion was supported by my ability to gloss over mistakes or failures as insignificant and keep telling myself the lie unless the loss was horrific.
I was not a complete idiot in this arena. I did learn from major mistakes. At least I learned from them most of the time. That is one reason I am still kicking today and looking back on a fairly successful career and life. However, I am laying all this out today to make a point I hope others will see.
The time will come when you cannot handle it yourself. Help will be needed if you wait too long to recognize that the results could be dire. I learned that lesson on the morning of January 20 at 4:30 AM when I had allowed my condition to deteriorate to the point I could barely stand, much less walk.
Thanks to a great 9-1-1 system, ambulance crew, Emergency Room staff, and my regular physicians, my mistake was not as bad as it could have been. It was bad enough that I would never think, “I can ride this out until morning,” should a similar crisis confront me.
If you have that tendency, I hope you read this with an open mind and will think at least twice about attempting to push through on your own by lying to yourself. Your mind will believe the lie, but your body won’t.
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