Written By: Fiona Stockard
Fake It ‘Till You Make It
“Fake it ’till you make it” is one of the many slogans I heard early on in AA. I thought most of the slogans were stupid, but this one, I could never really wrap my head around it.
Fake…what, ’till I make…what? Fake my smile? Fake my laugh? Fake my sobriety?
Now that’s an interesting take on a commonly used slogan! I began to fake my sobriety, I began to wear a mask.
I was told early on that action precedes thought. That if I take an action, my thoughts would change too.
So, I took the first action and many more after that. I went to meetings. I raised my hand to speak. I shared my experience, strength, and hope (I know now I was only sharing my craziness!). I talked to new girls. I really did “act as if.”
I got high on some weekends, plain and simple. I didn’t use every weekend. By this point, most of my friends were sober. The guy I was dating was sober. I couldn’t afford to use every weekend, but now-and-again, I’d sneak off and get loaded.
I prayed. I wasn’t honest with myself though, so there was no way I was honest with God.
I became the queen of recovery! Everyone thought I was doing so well. Hell, that’s all that matters anyway, right? My parents were off my back. My legal issues had all been resolved. I had a “great” life. I literally faked it and made it. I found the loophole!
Well, as soon as I thought I found that loophole, I started to get sloppy. I couldn’t control my hidden use anymore. It wasn’t every third weekend anymore. It was everyday. The mental, emotional, and spiritual torture was too much. I stopped going out. I stayed home, hiding from friends. I watched the entire series of LOST (which I still don’t get!) and it was a pretty great metaphor for my life. I was lost!
I basically lost everything all over again, except for my job. I couldn’t lose my job, it was the only way I was supporting my expensive as hell drug habit. To put it another way, I let the s**t hit the fan. Finally, I reached out for help.
Let’s be honest here. I didn’t reach out for help, I was caught. My boyfriend finally noticed that when I went out, I came home with tiny pupils. He found the bottle of gin under my bed (yeah, I still wonder what he was doing under there too). I came clean. I let it all out. I admitted I had been faking it, I was never truly sober.
Here’s the deal, I wanted to be sober. When I was high, I messed everything up. I spent a ton of money. I became a lone wolf. The people that loved me got hurt. Those things all suck. BUT, did I want to be sober because I couldn’t imagine never drinking another beer? Because I couldn’t imagine snorting another pill? At this point, nope.
I finally got a sponsor and came clean about what was going on in my life. I still fight this battle everyday though. I have 100% faith that AA works. I’ve seen it work in hundreds of people. I’ve seen the change and growth occur in my friends and even some family members.
Still, I’m “faking it ’till I make it.” This time though, I’m being honest. I’m staying sober in spit of myself. I know the truth, my best thinking isn’t the best at all.
I have no idea what’s going to happen. I have no idea if all of a sudden a lightbulb will go off and I’ll truly have made it. Maybe I’ll always be faking it. I just know that today my life is good. I smile. For the first time in my life, I’m honest. That’s all I have and for today, that’s more than enough!