Growing up, my parents instilled in my brothers and I the fundamental morals in life: to be respectful of others, be accountable and take responsibility for our actions, treat others as we want to be treated, and to ALWAYS TELL THE TRUTH. Sounds reasonable, especially now as a parent. Similarly, I hope and will strive to raise my two boys with very comparable standards and values. Of course, throughout my life, I demonstrated weak moments where I was unable to live by and fulfill the expectations of good character. I was guilty on different accounts at distinctive times. The most glaring shame I recall was the year I lived as an anorexic.
I was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with a control in eating. I became the most untruthful, ultimate LIAR you can ever imagine. I truly believe that anorexia equates to lying, and like most psychological disorders, I was unable to stop it. I was so fragile, both physically and emotionally, yet I found the inner strength to violate the basic core values of humanity.
I became the most persuasive person when it came to my eating habits and meals. I had literally become a pathological liar: where I lied compulsively and impulsively, almost without thinking about the consequences of my actions. It just became second nature, and effortless.
My intentions were not to be untruthful, especially to those I loved, or even myself. I had just become a professional manipulator, and had convinced myself and others that I was eating copious amounts of food during the day. Not only quantities of food, but a diet which included a wide array of items. The lying began early on in the disorder when I was restricting foods.
Lying became the only way to avoid answering any questions or food interrogations. I did not want to eat a cookie or candy bar or ice cream because I did not want to get fat. Why else would I not be eating it? I put a drop of peanut butter on my banana because there are 15 grams of fat per serving. Duh! I did not finish my meal because I did not want to overeat. Is that ok? These answers should not have made me feel guilty, but they did. So, instead of being honest, it became easier to lie. I already ate two cookies today. I loaded my banana with peanut butter. I am full, so I cannot finish my meal.
These little lies gradually developed into much larger lies; to myself, my family, my psychiatrist, my coaches, my friends, and to anyone who dared to ask me any questions about what I was choosing, or not choosing, to eat. The entire process of developing an eating disorder, like anorexia, consisted of lying: until I reached a point in recovery where I had enough of lying.
And now, yes, it breaks my heart to look back and think about how untruthful I was to the people who cared most about me. But, in reality, just like anorexia, I could not help it.