Fake It Til You Make It or Die Without Even Trying?!


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Who coined this “saying?” It’s actually spoken out loud at meetings. Stop and think about that for a minute or longer if you need to, instead of  mindlessly regurgitating really stupid shit. Or you can read this blog.

Fake is defined as:
1. to conceal the defects of or make appear more attractive, interesting,valuable,                     etc., usually in order to deceive

2.  prepare or make something specious, deceptive, or fraudulent.

Yeah, let’s tell addicts, who specialize in dishonesty to “deceive until they succeed.” I seriously would love to meet whoever coined that phrase, and certainly the people that spread this around 12 step meetings. It sure as hell isn’t in the Big Book. Step one’s spiritual principle, i.e. action, is honesty. So the newcomer is just supposed to say, “Yeah, I’m powerless,” fraudulently so that they can fit in a group. Meanwhile, back at the sponsorship ranch, I take someone through step one and ask them after everything we’ve gone over, the physical and mental effects of alcohol and drugs,the spiritual void created, to answer a simple question, not to me, but to themselves. The concession (admission of truth, i.e., I am not a normal person who has an off switch, once I start there is no stopping and I crave more, more and then some more until an only an act of God stops me, and even then I’m fighting Him too) to myself in step one that I am the true, real deal addict.

How am I going to fake that one and possibly get well? Keep coming back? Avoid people, places and things? Fuck. FUCK! They like architecture in that large book, so essentially, ‘faking’ the cornerstone of recovery is tantamount to supergluing dust together and then laying concrete block on it. On the beach. During a hurricane. You are not making it…I need another smoking nun to calm my nerves. Hold please…

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My buddy Pat said something at work a few hours ago that cracked me up- “I stopped doing drugs to be miserable.” I know he was joking, but fact of the matter is, there’s a lot of people that are miserable, so many of them wear the fake smiles. Fake it til you make it? This sounds exactly like me during active addiction. The jester dying on the inside. One more shot of dope is going to fix everything, until it doesn’t. Then the fear and anxiety kicks in, I’m going to be dopesick. I need to get money, so I have a morning shot that I am going to do as soon as I get it.

Deception, lies, all told to myself. And here I am, in early recovery being told to just show up and let the magic happen even if I’m still sick and don’t really see how meetings are going to save my ass.

At the end of the meetings I go to, we say, “Stay.” I love that. If I never forsake my recovery, i.e. God, I don’t have to bother coming back, and the cold, oft avoided fact is I may never make it back. The meetings focus on the solution, not a string of stories about how terrible life is: My roommate ate my Lucky Charms. My boyfriend cheated on me. There’s too many rules at my halfway. Every morning I start my dialog with God the same way- Thank you for another chance to see morning light, for food and shelter, for my friends and family in my life,.. 

What else do I really need? Not only that, I have the faith that right now as I sit in front of the computer typing this while listening to Courtney Barnett, I’m exactly where I need to be. I got a phone call last night, an aspiring author with a powerful story to tell, and I’m totally her editor because she gave me the golden answer- “I feel like I have to do this, even if it reaches one person, and helps them, it will be worth it.”  Amen sister. A-fuckin-men.

Same with this blog, maybe someone is struggling, trying to put on a happy face and going through the motions until something hits them hard enough to not just know they are an addict, but finally UNDERSTAND. With that admission of defeat comes something else, or at least for me it did: I don’t have a fucking clue how to get well, but I am ready to let someone who has done the deal show me the way. The rest is gravy. Actually, the rest is GOD. Gravy Over Duck. Gravy, full of pan drippings and butter, flour and secrets (roux for the chefs,) so good. I digress.

Back to that God guy, thing, whatever you want to call him/it. I’ve told God to fuck off so many times in active addiction I can’t believe he bothered keeping me around. God pulled me through the quicksand Bill W. describes surrounding him, except I mine was more sewage sludge.God and my angels saved my ass when I was such a selfish asshole, when I lived so grimy, so dangerous and care free, why would I ever question the reason for it all. My days have played out and I understand I am most definitely am on the right path. Life and all that happens in it are lessons, lessons that improve me as a human being. I tried so many times to pull away from life, God gave me a long leash, a treasure trove of pain to let go, to mold my perspective into not even an optimist…I don’t know what I call it, but I am so peaceful knowing  my life is perfect right now. I’m where I need to be.

That girl again, another thing she said- “it’s wrong to not use my gift.” Yeah. Another a-fuckin-men. God gives us all something, so often for the junkies, it’s the ability to express in a way that has primal force, be it writing, painting, drawing, music, whatever. I love writing. Keeping that gift in the dark is a slap in the face of God. When He would save me and I’d run right back to the spot, I threw his Grace back with a fuck you attached. You should hear our conversations. Writing is my passion, because the feeling of reaching just one person faking it right now, and praying they get it, and truly make it to become recovered, well, that’s a feeling more rewarding than any material bullshit society’s lies convince us are happiness. Joy is internalized happiness, it warms your soul.

I think I’ve rambled on long enough. Give up. Drugs are undefeated when facing off with an addict. Drugs are that opponent that let’s you punch yourself out, then knocks you the fuck out. Chris Tucker, you’re cue:

“You got knocked the fuck out man.”

But if you’re reading this, you got back up. that’s not you being tough, that’s God throwing the towel in and saving your ass.If you go back in the ring for a rematch, that’s you being stupid. God had you in the most desperate of times, he’s not leaving now if you get some faith and willingness to follow our path.

Peace and Love,
-MFJ

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