Sometimes when I watch my son and his behaviors, I wonder if he is OPENLY CONFORMING, WHILE SILENTLY REBELLING.
What is he REALLY thinking while complying with the rules most of the time? What is he REALLY thinking when he chooses not to argue as much anymore?
Is he going along with one of the recovering addicts philosophies of “Fake It Till You Make It?”
or is he faking “Fake It Till You Make It?”
“Fake It Till You Make It” means that he begins making changes by faking the behaviors that he is supposed to have and practicing the skills that he is learning long enough for them to really stick.
I think that once the kids get over being angry at their circumstances, and stop blaming others for their problems, that the next step probably is pretending that they are what they are supposed to be or what they want to be. Then, maybe it will feel like they naturally CAN BE that way.
But, I think that some of them get away with the faking and pretending part and never achieve the actual BEING part. They don't ever get to the point that they know they are doing it for the right reasons. I think those are the ones who relapse again and again.
So, I don’t like the phrase “Fake It Till You Make It.”
The same philosophy could be said in other ways that don't sound as catchy, but do sound more honest.
I like: “Act the way that you want to be and soon you become the way that you act.”
“Act as if…..”
“Old habits die hard, but if we keep practicing the new behaviors, they will feel comfortable and right…eventually.”
“See yourself as the person you would like to be and act the part until you are that person.”
I want to believe that my son is really trying to be the person that he would like to be.
But, does he even know at this point what kind of person he wants to be?
I wonder if he is he just going through the motions until he can be released from the program and get back the freedom that he lost?
What will he do with that freedom? And how easy will it be for me to let him have it, not knowing if he is actually ready for it?
In some ways, I think he is just the kid who doesn’t want to be in rehab anymore.
But, I also desperately want to think that I see the kid who doesn’t want to be an addict anymore; the kid that knows that going back to using drugs would be a big mistake; the kid that wants to change his life; and the kid that gives me hugs because he wants to have a good relationship.
I want it to be real, not fake.
I have hope that it is.