So I lied about what the next post will be. Sue me. This one popped into my head and I had to get it down.
Hello, my name is Arthur, and I am an addict. I have been using for about three years now and I realized that if I continued I would only be hurting those I cared about. I’m sorry if I sometimes get off topic or if I – uh, it’s just that this is a little difficult for me. I’ve never been able to do this without the pills.
I suppose I should begin with how I got addicted then.
In my family, there were always, issues. Specifically with trust and the things that come and go with it. I mean, sure, every family has a problem now and then but you could say mine was truly dysfunctional. I remember my father coming home one night from wherever it was he went during the day and telling me to keep it a secret from my mother who was working a night shift that he had lost five thousand dollars. He was impressively drunk at this point; I remember clearly the smell of cheap booze on his breath. The next day, when I accidentally broke a vase and lied about it my mother chastised me to the point of tears. I angrily cried out that dad had lost all that money and, well, things pretty much went downhill from there. Dad beat me later that week when mom was working another night shift and he started coming home drunker and later than ever. And mom, she started looking worse and worse. Their marriage imploded within months.
I never really thought about it until recently, but this is probably how I became so addicted. I came from a household of substance abuse and dishonesty. So, when I was perusing the net one night and happened upon some pills that promised to make those who took them speak only and ever the truth, well, the little kid inside me with the trust issues thought it was too good to be true, even if the adult inside me was sure it was a bunch of crap.
But it wasn’t. Three easy payments of almost thirty bucks later and I had my own ten year supply of truth pills. I wasn’t sure how to test them at first, I mean, they easily could have been poison. So I, well, I went a little crazy. I fed them to the neighborhood cat and when it didn’t die I figured they were safe for humans. I tried them on my neighbor next, popped two into his beer during a football game. He didn’t start blurting out all of his dirty little secrets like I expected though. Instead, he would just answer every question with complete honesty. I asked him his name, and he gave me the answer. He was a little confused, we knew each other well enough to know each other’s first and last names, we had been living door to door for the past year. Next I asked him his social security number and without any coaxing at all he answered me. I asked him all sorts of things, where he was born, how much he made in a year, if he had ever broken the law. He answered me every time like nothing was wrong. He asked me why I was asking all of these questions, but he had no objection to answering them. Turns out he once broke into somebody’s house and stole their television so he could afford concert tickets.
So, I realized that these little pills could make somebody tell the truth without realizing that they probably should not have been telling the truth.
And I started taking them every day.
Since the day I blurted out my father’s secret I had become an habitual liar and I hated myself for it. Countless relationships had crumbled because I didn’t know how to tell a hurtful yet necessary truth. But with these pills I was free from my bad habit. I could self-medicate away my deceit. It was an amazing feeling at first, extremely liberating. But over time I noticed that people avoided my opinions. And then I noticed myself growing further away from people, friends, coworkers, family. The problem was that my honesty was getting in the way of their happiness and they didn’t like that. So I thought “screw them, I am who I am”. But the problem was that this wasn’t me, this was the pills talking. The only person I wasn’t being honest with was myself.
It hit me that I had gone too far when at thanksgiving last year my four-year-old niece showed me a picture she had drawn in crayon of a pink dinosaur. The picture was as bad as you would expect a little kid’s drawing to be. All of the other adults loved it but I looked that little girl straight in the eye and told her that she had drawn a bad picture. She wasn’t sad or anything, didn’t cry. She’s a tough kid. But it was at that moment that I realized that maybe I had gone too far with the pills. The lies we tell to children aren’t told to hurt them, if anything, many of these lies are told to make kids better people:
“You can be president one day if you work hard enough, rubbing alcohol and needles don’t hurt at all, there’s no such thing as monsters.”
Santa Claus is a perfect example: good kids get rewarded with toys, bad kids get punished with coal.
Yeah, so, back to the pills…
I tried quitting on my own but being honest after years of being false is a stronger habit former than nicotine. I mentioned the liberating feeling earlier. I relapsed about six times over the course of the year. Each time I fell back harder on the pills than before. At first it was jury duty, then it was when I couldn’t bring myself to admit, something, to my doctor. Then it was this and then it was that n and the reasons became more and more asinine until I finally broke down and asked my sister for help. I told her everything, the pills helped with this too, and she brought me here. To be honest, I didn’t think such a place existed, but then again, six billion people on this planet, I couldn’t be the only one with such a vice.
I’ve learned a lot since I’ve been here. Namely,the truth hurts sometimes, and while it is often necessary, sometimes that hurt can be avoided. Also, lies aren’t good all the time, but it’s okay to lie once in a while if it means protecting what’s dear to us.
So, uh, yeah. My name is Arthur and I have been telling lies for about a week now. In fact, I just told one.