Something about self-delusion…

once upon time in a far-far away kingdom...
image courtesy of: deposit photos

So anyways, this weeks theme for the confessional booth is lies….

I could say that I’m not a great liar, but that would be a lie. I’m very good at those little manipulative, avoidance lies. The lies that you tell by not telling an actual lie. I’m a little too good at them. I’m also able to delude myself into believing that the lie I’m not telling absolutely isn’t a lie- because I’m not telling it. Not really.

Having said that, if I’m asked something directly, I’ll tell you the truth…I can’t help myself.

My husband thinks he’s good at it- lying, that is- but the left side of his mouth dips by the merest few millimetres and completely gives him away. His other trick is to avoid answering the question by distracting or changing the subject. If he has to answer, he’ll try to answer in a way that doesn’t answer it. You’d think after 26 years together, he’d know better! Besides, I’m so much better at it than he is. He hasn’t worked that out yet either.

Now that I’m (ahem) in my late forties, there’s one issue that I’m finding that I can’t lie about, spin, avoid, delude, or manipulate myself out of…health issues. They’ve caught up with me.

I haven’t had a full suite of tests done for a few years, and have only sought medical attention for things like the rabies shots I had to have the other year after a trip to Bali…and the ear infection the other year after a trip to Bali… and the infection in my fingernail after it got slammed in a fire door in Hong Kong and I tried to fix it myself with a sewing kit. Don’t ask. Yes…there’s a theme.

Just lately though, I’ve been under a huge amount of stress- you don’t need the details. I’m at a level of anxious that even I’m having problems faking my way through. I’m also aware that my blood pressure is higher than it should be- and the risks associated with that…so I took myself off to the doctor and told her that. I told her about my history of wonky hormones, how I’d kept things under control with acupuncture, but how now I had to face the facts. I told her that I want to avoid medication- because the likelihood of me remembering to take it is about as high as the likelihood of me sticking to the diet I know I need to stick to. I told her that. Just like that.

I think she was a little disconcerted by my honesty. ‘You don’t come to doctors very often.’

‘No, I don’t get sick enough. A dose of manflu once a year is my quota.’ At this point I leant over and touched the wood on her desk. ‘Also, most doctors I meet are arrogant…but you seem really nice.’ She did seem nice.

‘Besides,’ I said, ‘I know what you’ll say. You’re going to tell me that I need to lose at least 20kgs. You’ll tell me what the health risks are that are associated with carrying the extra weight. You’ll ask me if I know what I need to do to lose it, and I’ll tell you that I do. I’ll tell you that with my hormonal combo I should be eating mostly low GI carbs and protein- but I love good bread. You’ll tell me that my portion sizes must be too large- which they are. Then you’ll ask me why if I know what I have to do why I don’t do it, and I’ll tell you that I know that I should. Then you’ll ask me how much alcohol I drink. I’ll tell you I have 2 wines a night, most nights, and more on weekends,with two months a year off and you’ll tell me I need to cut it back. You’ll also ask me how much I exercise and will be ok with the answer, but tell me I need to do more strength work at my age for bone density.’

And, yes, I’m aware how arrogant I must have sounded, but this is the confessional where there’s no judgement, so I can tell you the truth. Also, at this point, she was grinning. As I said, I really liked this one. Then she asked me those questions and gave me that advice- with a smile. And I listened. Properly.

Naturally I now have a full range of blood tests I have to get done. I contemplated going alcohol and carb free for the week before- in a misguided effort to manipulate the liver function and blood sugar results- but my walking buddy told me that I was being an idiot. Actually, that’s not what he said, but this is a PG rated show.

‘You can’t fake your way through a blood test,’ he said. ‘There’s too much riding on it at our age. You’d be the first to tell anyone else to just flipping do it.’ Of course, he didn’t say flipping either… ‘You’d also say “seriously, how hard could it be?”‘

Fair point.

I mightn’t be great at lying to others, but I’ve successfully managed to delude myself for years. And yes, I know that’s irresponsible, immature and remarkably selfish- so please don’t write and tell me so. Especially at my age. I also know that I’m fortunate to have enjoyed relatively good health for much of the last 10 years. Again I’m touching wood. Perhaps it’s made me complacent, but events this year have shown me that I can’t afford to be complacent any longer. I have no choice now but to face the truth. And face it I will. After all, how hard could it be?

Linking up in the confessional booth with My Home Truths

Comments

4 comments on “Something about self-delusion…”
  1. Haha pure gold, you found a good doctor!!! Good luck with the health checks and bravo on taking your head out the sand. I was like that for a few years and when I finally got my act together at 45 I had a hysterectomy which solved a lot of my little health problems (it also nearly killed me but that’s a whole ‘nother story LOL). Anyway life is so much better now so worth sorting things out!

    1. Jo says:

      Thanks Janet- the hard part is actually taking the time to get there! I’m extremely creative with my excuses & delaying tactics.

  2. Deborah says:

    I avoid the doctors as well but I’ve had quite a few colds and flus etc. I usually wait until I’m coughing up blood or develop a virus before going though and I’m not sure why I’m so paranoid about my doctor thinking I’m a hypochondriac.

    Mine’s good and doesn’t weigh me though she knows my history and that I’ve constantly tried to lose weight.

    At night though… when I’m lying in bed and I have pains in places I shouldn’t have them I get worried about stuff. My heart, blood pressure etc. I can’t believe my health concerns aren’t enough to have me make lifestyle changes!

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