Lying to myself

When I’m sick I often can’t tell how sick I am. I tell myself it’s not that bad, that I’m faking it, that I’m being a wimp. If I eventually cave and go home sick, however, it washes over me like a tidal wave and I realize how I was on my last leg all morning.

I lie to myself. Usually it’s in the form of “It’s not that bad” to help myself get through things. It’s surprising that it’s even possible to lie to yourself, since in lying one must by definition know the truth and purposefully evade it. Perhaps a better term would be pep talk. I give myself little pep talks. It’s not that bad. You can get through it. It’s only X more hours.

I’m also constantly telling myself that the worst is over. X is half over; just repeat what you’ve already done. You’re closer to the end than the beginning. The rain is letting up.

Or I bargain with myself. At least it isn’t a sore throat. At least it isn’t still morning. Double whammy: At least it’s almost over.

A common theme is thinking about myself in terms of “You.” I think it’s because hearing “You can do it” from a voice, even if it’s my own, gives me more confidence than an “I can do it.” It gives the impression that someone else thinks I can do it, not just me.

I wonder why I can’t give myself pep talks in my own voice, as myself. I have to use this “You” to take myself seriously.

Then again, I wonder why I need these pep talks at all. I suppose the reason for both is a lack of self confidence. Something like, I don’t trust my own judgement so I have to hear it from someone else, even if that someone else is just me pretending to me someone else.

Maybe I’m overthinking something everyone does, I don’t know. All I know is, I’m not a good liar, especially not to myself.

9 thoughts on “Lying to myself

  1. This is really interesting, particularly about how we tend to talk to ourselves as “You.” I wonder if this is in some ways part of how we deal with conflicting ideas all within ourselves, by separating them into the encourager and the encouraged. Great piece!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I totally get this, especially after my doctor described me as “stoic” after he asked me to describe my pain ;0)

    It’s hard for introverts to get the same attention that extroverts get, in the emergency room. Somewhere in that, is a good saying!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. How we get bound up in thinking, when what we really need is to just listen to the body, which knows what it needs…


  4. sailingacrossthestage

    this is a beautiful piece. You are so strong and you are not alone. I am working on a dance show that is taking people’s stories of their experiences with anxiety and depression and turning them in to beautiful dances to generate awareness about mental health. Might I use this piece as part of my show?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Definitely yes–I’m honored. May I ask what you’ll be doing for the show?


      • sailingacrossthestage

        I am doing the show as part of a research study that I am doing regarding dance/movement therapy as compared to traditional pharmacotherapy. The purpose of this show is to demonstrate how dance can be a powerful and therapeutic creative outlet, as well as to change the stigma regarding mental illness – we are all fighting a battle and none of us are alone. Thank you so much for your permission to use this piece! Would you like your blog credited in the program, or would you like to remain anonymous? I would also be happy to share a video of the piece with you following the show 🙂

        Liked by 1 person


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