Often times in my recovery, I have heard, and told others that a good part of being successful is to “Fake it till you make it.”. I knew it to be true for others, but judged people quite harshly when they smiled too much and thought they were fake. Ironic isn’t it?
I remember faking laughs, smiles, interest, knowledge, and a bunch of other stuff just in order to hide my sadness and ignorance on some topics that made me feel small. By that I mean things like if you told me you had found a nickel on the ground, I would reply that I found a dime. Really meaningless lies that all together made me look feel bigger and better than I actually felt inside.
So, when I was told, or that I had read somewhere, to start smiling more to feel the benefits of a positive attitude, I didn’t even know where to look because I had been faking it for so long. Needless to say that I didn’t take the whole “Fake it till you make it.” to heart. Then after a few days of hearing it and then talking about it with others, I found that when I let go of my apprehension towards that statement and became open minded I could feel what I thought a genuine smile must feel like. Yes, I was unsure of what a real smile was more often than I’d care to admit it, but here I am.
Once I let go of it, I was able to smile a bit more, and feel more joy, or happiness. Something in the back of my mind wanted me to be happy, even for a little while, more than the part of me that was yelling “BULLSHIT!” at everyone that told me of the importance of smiling. It was a welcome relief at any point I didn’t feel as angry or overwhelmed by the complications I, myself, threw into the mix, to be able to smile even if it was fake.
I hated hearing, I hated doing it, it didn’t feed into my self-victimization so I didn’t do it. In hindsight, as for many things in my life, I should have done the exact opposite of what I felt. So now, as much as I can I smile, I try to be positive (difficult considering my sarcastic and smartass nature), and hopefully one day you won’t have to fake it, much like I don’t feel the need to these days.
Of course, some days are tougher to smile through than others, and that’s ok too. I just now have more smiley days than I do sob woe is me days.
Have a good one and at least give smiling a try. Even if just for a second!
Originally posted 2015-01-15 02:04:01.