Fake It Til You Make It

Alright, loyal readers and random passers-by, I apologize for being MIA with the regular morning posts…I’ve gone from have 3 projects at work to 12 in about 48 hours. I’m not really sure how that happened, but Clarissa does not enjoy late nights at the office. I miss my days of blog reading, commenting and writing, oh and you know sometimes doing my job at work. Oh March 2011 how I miss thee.

Seriously though, it feels really nice to be working hard and feeling needed and appreciated at my job. The big boss even came over today to say that I did an excellent job on my impromptu presentation in our group meeting this morning. Things like that always reassure me that I’m not a complete fake. I’m definitely a fake, but not completely. Fake it til you make it right?

The addict part of me says I’m still in the “faking it” zone, while my friends and family always tell me I’m in the “making it” zone. To be honest, I’m not sure when I’ll ever know the difference. My brain is structured in such a way that I believe that I’ll never be “good enough,” or worth anything. I didn’t go to an Ivy League college…not good enough. I haven’t nailed every job interview I’ve had…not good enough. I’m not married or engaged yet…not good enough. I’m not this, I’m not that. I know the truth though. Recovery has slowly given me the strength to chip away at these insecurities. Because that is all they are. Not reality, it’s just me being insecure.

It’s silly that I’m insecure over these material things. No one ever gave me a List of Things To Be and said: Be these or you will be a failure! I made all this stuff up…my sick and twisted brain made them up. I can’t even blame excessive expectations on my family, because there never were any! My parents just told me as long as I tried my best, that’s all they expected. I’m not sure they have ever not been proud of me. Even when I finally confessed to them that I was addict, they were proud that I was 60 days clean and in a 12 step program. SERIOUSLY?!? You’re not disappointed that I was a degenerate for years, completely self-centered and tried to kill myself on a daily basis? No, they weren’t disappointed. Partially because I think deep down inside will never accept that I am an addict and partially because they love me despite my flaws. I’m lucky to have them, despite their flaws.

Even if you don’t have parents like mine, you probably have a handful of people in your life that love you and support you and are proud of you no matter what you do.This is called unconditional love and there is nothing like it. If you’ve never felt it before – go to the appropriate 12-step meeting. Complete strangers will love you no matter what. I’m not joking, it’s amazing. And not out of pity, or selfish interests. People literally love you because they can. When you get clean and sober you have the capacity for love that you may have never had before. You understand what it means to do the most horrific things to yourself and to other people, so when newcomers tell you their deepest darkest secrets, you just nod and smile – because you’ve been there. Literally.

And after being alone in my own addict world for years…I had forgotten what unconditional love felt like. Knowing people love you and feeling it are two very separate things in my mind. I know my family loved me, but I felt so disconnected from who “me” was, I couldn’t feel the love that was being given to me. In active addiction, having friend and family who don’t know what you struggle with can be very similar to being completely alone. Most of all, I didn’t even love myself.

Over the past few years I have slowly learned to love others and ultimately love myself. I have a long way to go, but I believe stepwork will play a major role in knocking down some of my insecurities.

Faking it or making it?

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