Tuesday Tidbits & Tips: Acting “as if”

Today’s topic is more on the tidbit-side, I suppose.  I’ve been thinking lately about how I handle “stuff”.  It is my hope and belief that I have gotten better, generally speaking, in dealing with situations that I’m either not happy about or that cause me to feel less at ease.  I learned early on the road to recovery from alcoholism in my mid-twenties a tool that has done me well under many circumstances: the ability to act “as if”.

Now, before anyone gets knicker-twisted, I’m not suggesting brushing feelings under the rug, ignoring unpleasant issues that arise, taking crap from folks, or being a doormat for dirty shoes.  Acting “as if” is more directed towards those situations that are for the moment creating havoc (requiring acceptance) and also situations that perhaps are good for us, but we don’t like them in the beginning.  This is the context I learned the tool in: getting sober was not fun, but it was necessary…for me. 

I’d attend twelve-step meetings begrudgingly, commonly saying this in my mind, “Oh, great, nothing like hitting a meeting on a Saturday night, wooohoo, what fun (no exclamation point, but lots of sarcastic emphasis).  As the first few months progressed, and I managed to stay sober a day at a time, the chip that resided on my shoulder wasn’t falling off.  Then I heard an “old timer” (one of the guru’s with a gazillion years clean) say, “Ya know, sometimes you have to act “as if” you enjoy attending these meetings. Eventually, you may find that not only are you feeling better but you actually do like coming.”

This person was 100 percent correct.  I knew I had to change, but I resisted the change at the same time.  Once I started acting “as if” I enjoyed people sharing their experience, strength, and hope I started to hear what they had to say.  My attitude followed suit…and with that my recovery began to take flight and mean something.   Those same meetings that I scoffed at became my refuge filled with people I adored and couldn’t wait to talk to and give a hug to each week.

What started out as acting became my reality, and a change that I initially didn’t believe I could endure, a blessing.

Do you have any situations in your life where acting “as if” might be helpful? 

Hope your Tuesday was Teeeeeeeeerrific!

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8 responses

  1. What fantastic advice!! I intend to share this one with my daughter who “hates” going to school; “hates” her teacher; “hates” her assignments. I think the “as-if” attitude could change her whole world. Thanks for sharing, Kasey. As always lots of love from the Great White North.

    • Wow, Holly, I hope she gives it a try! I use this with Maycee and her “I feel sick” statements she makes just about every morning before school. Let me know how it goes. Lots of love back atcha!

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  2. Oh I have a ton of situations that I could implement this attitude…I wonder if there is a 12 step program for dealing with “not so nice” people? I find my grace and patience slipping right through my fingers lately. Great advice though, SWM! Hope your having an even better Wednesday! 🙂

    • Thanks, Tat2. The twelve steps will work on ANYTHING. Just look them up and replace the word “alcoholism” with the issue at hand in your mind-no joke! Glad you enjoyed the post, and let me know how it works for ya after a bit of time. Still getting over my cold-but I’m working on it. Here’s to Thursday! 🙂

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  3. Why am I not surprised that you used the term…”knicker-twisted”?
    “Don’t get your knickers in a twist”, happens to be one of my favorite sayings. 🙂

    Act as if. I do it all the time, although I sometimes forget to tell myself that it is okay to act as if and I get knicker-twisted. Thank you, Kasey. I needed the reminder and the story behind it. xoxox

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