Some days, you have to fake it.
It’s a little trick that I’ve learned in the program. No, I don’t lie to my sponsor, or my mom, or Lars, or even myself. I fake being positive. It sounds wrong, I know. But, I’ve been on a stretch, quite a long one, of really bad days.
It’s not one thing. It’s a million. It’s my job. It’s Lars. It’s missing my family. It’s feeling stuck and out to sea simultaneously. It’s not anything that has a quick fix, or even a long term fix. Well, the long term fix is staying sober and learning to be happy in sobriety.
As I ease into my new life of working girl with mediocre pay, busy boyfriend, and far-off family, everything feels out of my control and shows no sign of changing. This is being an adult. Dealing with the same day to day shit. Getting by. Being bored, and, in my case, sad.
I get up every day and go to my morning AA meeting. If I don’t, I spend the day in a downward spiral. I go to my meeting for my daily dose of positivity, because without it, I’m pretty sure I’d be suicidal. I pray in the car as I drive across the bridge over the Willamette River on my way into work. I ask God to make this day: good, bearable, and fast-moving. I focus on the next thing I have to do. Some days I feel like I’m in a rat race and the finish line is my couch, where I zone out and watch four hours of crappy Portland news shows. What a prize!
This morning, I began my Sunday with my step study meeting. And, as I sat there, I asked myself, ‘Why am I doing this?’
It’s past the point where a bad day is a good reason to drink. These days, a “good” day is a reason to drink. But, sometimes I wonder what all this faux positive thinking is really doing for me. Is this why people think that AAs are brainwashed? Are we? I left my meeting feeling hopeless. My faux smile has lost its glitter. I went home and sat on the couch asking myself some big questions. Why am I doing this? Why?
I was still wondering at 10:08AM. I had to leave to drive across town for my women’s meeting, if I still planned on going. Which was another question I was pondering. But, I got up and went. And, I sat in the circle of my whiny-lady brethren. I listened to the screaming children in the other room. I watched the tears flow from other women’s eyes, and, suddenly, I felt them well up in my own. I was crying. Crying, in this meeting where I have always held back. Where I have kept it together, because, damn it, I don’t want to be the the woman who is known for her hormonal water-works. But, without warning it came, like a muthafuckin’ tsunami.
When the circle came around to me, I let loose. I told those bitches what was up. I’m so fucking sick of trying so hard. Sick of waking up every day to get my ass to a meeting that barely gets me through the morning. I am sick of constantly “working on things” with Lars, sick of being far way from my family, sick of feeling unappreciated at a job where I am still a newbie, already lost in a mountain of paperwork. Sick of it all. Tired of trying. Where is this program getting me? What is it getting me?! Why am I so hell bent on believing this works, when it’s not fucking working!
And, then, I looked around the room. I saw tears in the eyes of the women sitting around me. They totally and completely understood me and my absolute frustration and dismay. And, they saw me. For the first time, they had seen me completely broken and vulnerable. And, as I frantically wiped the tears from my eyes, it hit me like a ton of bricks.
THIS is why I’m working this program. THIS. These women. They are still sober. They’ve done this. They’ve been where I am this morning. They’ve sat in this very seat. Hating themselves, hating sobriety. They are all crying because I made them remember how hard THIS part of sobriety was for them. They had to fake it ’til they made it too. And it was brutal. It was cruel and unusual. It was painful and uncomfortable. But, they made it. And, I will too. It won’t be today, but, I’ll make it too.
And, THAT is why I’m working this program. Faux smile and all.