“Above all, don't lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky
When I started writing in this space almost five years ago, my life was going down a very different path. This blog was called The Savoury Soul and it was where I attempted to talk all things health and wellness.
I say I was attempting to write about health and wellness but everything felt very sterile and forced. My writing was a mix of how to's and unwarranted 'do this and you'll be happier!' advice.
What I really should have been writing about, what would have felt way more original and authentic, would have been, "do this and this so everyone you know thinks you have the perfect little life.” And under no circumstance whatsoever admit or even hint at the truth.
All I remember was feeling like the biggest fraud and that I had so much to say, so much to share, but what I was writing about was not even close to being it.
Instead, I spent a lot of time fluffing up my life and pretending I had it all figured out.
In reality, what I really wanted to share was the truth. I wanted to scream out, "Hey! I have no friggin' clue what I'm doing here and I want out of my marriage but I have everything I ever thought I wanted so why am I so unbelievably sad and miserable? And why is it that when I look in the mirror I have no idea who the person I'm looking at is? And does anyone else out there feel this way?"
That is the stuff I really wanted to write about.
Real life. Real stuff. Real feelings.
Raw, gritty, honest to God truth.
I wanted to expose the complicated feelings I was experiencing from being married to someone who had no idea who I was nor really even cared to find out. I wanted to write about how I had no idea who I was either but was desperate to find out.
I wanted to talk about how I had everything I ever thought I wanted but all the stuff in the world couldn't fill the ever growing hole inside. I needed to confide in someone, anyone who’d listen, that sometimes I’d dream about telling my husband that I was going to the grocery store and get in my car and drive away. And just keep driving.
I wanted to tell the story of how on my wedding day as I stood in front of my family and the two friends I was "allowed" to invite, I wasn't thinking that this was my dream day. I was looking around thinking about all the people I wished were there but weren't because my ex made a big stink about the fact that this was his second wedding and "nobody wanted to come to a second wedding."
"How do you think it makes me look Amanda?" He asked. I remember thinking, "But...it's not just about you. Shouldn't we compromise? Isn't that what love and marriage is about? Give and take? Shouldn't you want to see me beaming from the happiness and joy I feel from having all the people I love at our day?
Instead, I stood in front of the twenty people in attendance and said my vows while secretly wondering how long it would be before we got a divorced. Instead of being in ah of this person I was committing my life too, I stood there with a fake smile saying some of the most important words to a man who no more then two weeks later met another women on a business trip.
I wanted to share how the first time I learned of him cheating was before we were even engaged. I wanted to leave then but was terrified because I didn't know what I would do. And then he said all the perfect words knowing very well that I would cave from hearing those words. I'm sorry. You mean everything to me. I will be better. I don't deserve you. I love you.
He promised he'd change. He'd get help and go to therapy. And I was a sucker for empty promises. I was addicted to the love you think you feel from being told that US was finally enough to create change. That you really mean something. That you are worthy enough for them to change.
I wanted to share that not much about US worked and I wondered if others were living in marriages that felt like living in a glass house. Just one more lie and everything may shatter around you.
Were others drawing the drapes closed tightly at night to cover the truth of their relationships too? Were others as desperate to keep their lies tightly sealed just like I was?
I wanted to write with such brutal honestly that when I reached the end of the page I would feel empty, cleaned out and purged of all the lies I was telling others and myself. I needed to shed the excess weight so I could stare naked in the mirror and see Amanda for the first time.
But I couldn't. Instead, I filled these pages with boring facts that made me feel inauthentic. All because I knew that once I shared, there was no going back. Once it was out there everyone would know I, Amanda Whitworth, was a big…fat…lier.
So I just kept quiet and kept writing about boring topics because I felt called to write but was too afraid to write about what it was I felt called to share.
Those thoughts and feelings, those would stay buried deep within, folded into the layers of my heart.
But the truth will set you free they say and freedom was what I was longing for. So once I had a reason that was good enough, once I had been broken and beaten down just enough, I got up the courage to say "no more!" And I ran 1200 miles away to a little beach town so I could give myself the space and time to finally open up my heart and share what it is I'm suppose to share.
And the most interesting thing has happened with being brutally honest. Every time I open up and share a little bit more of my truth I feel free.
I have given myself permission to peel back the layers and get down and dirty with the God honest truth and it’s become harder and harder to lie to myself. Sometimes the truth hurts. Sometimes it really sucks having to referee the battle between my head and my heart and make a decision that I know is best for me but I don’t want to make. Sometimes that decision brings about it’s own pain.
I’ll tell you one thing though, the feeling I get when I’m honest with myself and take action upon that honesty is almost indescribable.
No amount of sex and drugs or food and exercise or shopping or anything else that temporarily fills those holes and stuffs down those lies can make me feel as high and full as the way the truth does.
And that, my dear, is why the truth shall set you free.
So that you can be.