Why Faking It Till You Make It In Recovery Probably Won’t Work

You may have heard in recovery, “Just fake it till you make it.” So you figure you might as well give it a shot. Because at that point, you’ve tried so hard in sobriety to heal.

More than anything, you want to live that life you see everyone else in recovery living. But faking it ends up leaving you feeling empty. And you wonder if you’re faking it wrong, you suck at it, or even worse- you’re not destined to be happy. 

I’ve been there too. As someone who did sober up almost 6 years ago without any emotional or professional support, I know it’s a journey layered with pain, regret and sorrow. But I also know that life is a beautiful, bittersweet mess filled with hope and love.  

Recovery is no different. It’s also a journey filled with second chances- missed opportunities resurrected. It gives us the promise that we can and will find home within ourselves. That’s why I’m going to help you steer away from faking it so you can thrive.

What we’re going to cover:

Why faking it won’t benefit you:
  • The wisdom within knows better 
  • You’re bypassing the inner work
  • It’s survival mode (and you’re here for so much more)

Here’s what you can do instead:
  • Feel your emotions
  • Learn who you are
  • Accept that sobriety isn’t linear
Faking It Till You Make It In Recovery

Why faking it till you make it in recovery may be doing more harm than good

The wisdom within knows better

You, my dear, are a powerhouse of wisdom. That wisdom knows when you’re healed and when you still have inner work to do. The more you fake it, the more you’re actually defying your own emotional intelligence. 

It takes an enormous amount of strength to admit you may not be ok. And courage comes from being honest about not being fully healed. It’s ok to feel weak and defeated. It’s also perfectly acceptable to not have all the answers to your questions or not know what path you should take. 

You want to be receptive to opening yourself to being healed. But part of receptivity is doing the work. Meet yourself halfway. 

Not to mention, if you’re faking it, you won’t truly know what you want. Just an idea or a glimmer of what you want to feel. Which brings me to the next reason why faking it till you make it probably won’t work for your recovery journey. 

You’re bypassing the inner work 

I’m not judging you for this. Because I’ve been guilty of convincing myself that I was more ok than I wasn’t. Which led me to skipping the healing process. 

When we pretend things are better than they appear, all we’re doing is skipping the most important part of the journey- the healing and being ok in pain without any mind altering substances. 

I’m sure you already know this, but when we try to fake something, it’s going to take so much longer to get what we want. Because we’re not being honest with ourselves. 

We’re not owning those parts of ourselves that led us to drinking in the first place. We don’t see how the messiness inside creates our reality.

There’s nothing wrong with that because we all have our own lessons to learn. Unfortunately, those lessons will keep appearing until we learn them. Which means when we’re faking it till we make it, recovery becomes a nuanced and rocky journey. 

We’re running away from ourselves 

A large part of recovery is a rediscovery process so we can fall in love with ourselves. One of the reasons we went down the rabbit hole of substance abuse was because we weren’t processing our emotions. 

Which ultimately led to us running away from ourselves. So if we fake it till we make it, all we’re really doing is escaping. Even though it’s well intentioned and isn’t meant to deceive ourselves, we wind up perpetuating another unhealthy cycle. 

Because we want something so badly, we don’t realize it all starts within. That begins with taking the time to begin the recovery process. 

Faking It Till You Make It In Recovery

Instead of faking it till you make it in recovery, try these:

Feel your emotions

Somewhere along the way, we’ve been conditioned by society that anything other than being happy isn’t acceptable. 

ALL of your emotions are ok. Just because someone else thinks you’re being irrational or illogical does not diminish how you should feel. 

Every emotion you deem to be negative is an opportunity to transform and evolve into a more compassionate and empathic person. Yes, that includes anger and resentment. 

Sometimes we have to feel so much rage within ourselves that there’s nothing left but compassion. 

Have you noticed when you cry those uncontrollable tears, how cathartic it is? That’s because you’re allowing your body to release the grief and sorrow. 

It’s your body acknowledging that you may not be ok. To be ok, you first have to admit it. Then you can release it. 

So whatever emotion you’re feeling, let it surface. When it does, don’t pass any judgments onto yourself. Just sit with it. It may take some time to get used to it or understand what you’re feeling, but you will get there. 

Learn who you are

When you begin the process of self-discovery, you won’t need to fake anything. Because you’ll actually like who you are and enjoy your own company. 

All those things you deemed unworthy about yourself eons ago? You’ll gain a new perspective that those quirks are a part of the complete package. A package that only you can be. 

The fragmented pieces you thought were beyond repair? You learn to rebuild those parts of yourself from scratch. 

Recovery is about becoming the person you’ve always aspired to be. Here’s your chance. Grab it and don’t let go. Find yourself. Explore your psyche. Find what makes your inner fire burn with eternal passion. 

Be ok with the setbacks

Sometimes it seems that every forward step we take, we tumble backwards. That’s ok. 

Life isn’t a linear process. Which means we can’t expect sobriety to be either. 

We don’t magically wake up one day and feel ok. We do the inner work to be ok. It surfaces painful memories and trauma we didn’t realize we were harboring. When that happens, it’s natural to feel dejected and defeated. 

Which is why when you acknowledge that there’s going to be bumps along the road of recovery, it’ll not only make the process a much smoother transition, but you won’t feel the need to fake your emotions. 

Let’s do a quick recap. 

Why faking it till you make it may not work in your recovery journey:

  • The wisdom within knows better 
  • You’re bypassing the inner work
  • It’s survival mode (and you’re not here for that) 

How you can thrive:

  • Feel your emotions
  • Learn who you are
  • Accept that sobriety isn’t linear
Faking It Till You Make It In Recovery

How do you cope with the stresses of sobriety? Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below. 

If you know anyone who would benefit from this, be sure to share it with them. 

I’ll see ya soon…in the meantime, love yourself so much that even a Hallmark Christmas movie would be jealous. 

Interested in going deeper? Through private programs tailored for you, you and I will reconnect you to your mind, body and soul so you don’t need or want another drink. Check out the services HERE.

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