Yesterday I had the chance – and very real pleasure – to talk with a woman that used to be my girlfriend and is, I am very happy to say, my friend. It had been awhile since we’d talked because, as happens between friends from time to time, honest misunderstandings stumbled us up a bit. There are certain indelible truths about this woman that anyone who meets her would be wise to make note of. She is intensely courageous. I’ve seen the courage she brings to life’s challenges up close. The specifics of those challenges have no place in this missive because it is not my place to talk about them and, she is my friend, which means I won’t tell you.
It nearly always makes me shake my head with sadness when I see people trying to manage their lives by spinning webs of misinformation (or telling outright lies) rather than staying on the path of honesty. Yes, this latter is not always easy, but I can tell you from firsthand experience that honesty is a powerful ally. As one who lives a sober life, it is an ally I have no intention of betraying. The woman I spoke with yesterday is cut from the same cloth. She is courageous, honest, and, it must be said, the kind of mother to her two daughters that every child deserves.
Those managing their lives with dishonesty often attack and villainize the ones who love them the most because the ones who love them the most hold them accountable for their choices. Those who love them are wise not to lash back in kind. Pray for the person you love and hold them accountable. Stay out of the poisonous web of deceit. It is not healthy for you. Equally important, it is not healthy for the person you love who may genuinely no realize honesty is one of his or her best allies. The most painful experience for those of us who love someone who manages life with methods short of rigorous honesty is we oftentimes need to disengage from them. And loss, even when necessary, is painful.
Thankfully, none of this holds true with my friendship with the woman I spoke with yesterday. Talking with her was a breath of fresh air, it usually is.
If you love a person who is caught up in an unhealthy lifestyle like this, leave the door open. People truly can change. It is hard work, not easy, and takes courage. But if you love them, they deserve a second chance. People gave me a second chance (and then some) after I got sober.