Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Fake It 'Til You Make It

Growing up I heard this term a lot. I was told that if I didn't like a situation to just go with it and eventually I would learn to do it with a willing heart.

What a load of crap.

Why do LDS people, especially women, have such a hard time expressing the fact that sometimes things just plain suck? Why do we feel compelled in a horrible situation to say, "Oh, it's ok that my husband is in Iraq and could be killed at any moment. I feel good about it" or "My child died but it's ok because I'll see them again." Really? You can't tell me that's how you really feel. Are your emotions so shallow?

I am here to tell you that it's ok to stop faking it. Hate your life! Get pissed off that your husband keeps getting deployed, be mad at Heavenly Father for taking your child, your spouse, your parent. IT'S OK!!! Freaking show some emotion other than the "it'll be ok" emotion.

I gave up faking it a long time ago...right around the time I ended up on insanely large amounts of antidepressants. Consequently it was about the same time that Aren was asked as a five year old boy in Primary, "How does your mom show you she loves you?" To which Aren responded, "I know my mom loves me because she gives me Prozac every morning." Nice. And yes, it's true. Aren has been on antidepressants since he was three years old. He doesn't like faking it either.

Of course there are times when I'm really good at keeping my emotions in check, like every afternoon when kids come home from school and my house ends up being the place to hang out. I'm not that fond of children, but I can become that way if it means I have control of what other eight and nine year olds are doing.

I guess my point is that I can't imagine that my life is the only one that sucks as much as it does, but by talking to people, reading blogs, and whatever else, it kind of appears that way. I'm not asking you to air your dirty laundry, just remember that there's a reason there is to be an opposite in all things. You can believe that Heavenly Father will take care of you and still be annoyed as all get out that something has happened to you. There doesn't always have to be some kind of lesson that has to be learned. Sometimes life just sucks. Simple as that.


Elizabeth said...

I hate that term too. When I did cust. service they always told us to smile because the customer could hear it in our voice. I was like, can they hear the sarcasm? because I am not going to smile if I am having a crappy day. There are days that are good and there are days that are bad and I think it isn't healthy to pretend to be happy when you are miserable. You have to find some kind of release and if your way is yelling or hitting something, then do it! Just warn people not to piss you off unless they want to get their a$$ kicked!

Higleys said...

I hear what you're saying. When things suck they suck. Interesting blogs on opposites this week MaryBeth. You make people think.

The Wilkins Family said...

There are things that suck and I'm the first admit it. I do think there is a lesson to be learned in most things, though. BTW - there is nothing wrong with needing a little Prozac...I should know! I might just show this post to my husband the next time I'm upset about something that he thinks I should get over.

amelia said...

People at church are always patting my baby and saying the cliche line "You must have so much fun with her!" I try to be a realist and respond with "Yeah, she's fun...but it's really hard too." The looks I get. I mean really, can I admit that motherhood is rough without a judgmental glare?

(I started a post similar to this after, of course, a church incident where a fellow mom was all rude to me over a diaper blowout...you have made me think deeper about it.)

Emma said...

Do I get any kind of points here for airing that my 10-year-old brother put my father into the hospital for a week with, among other things, a punctured rib. And that the bishop had to send over priesthood holders in the ward because it wasn't safe for my mom and sisters to stay in the house with him?

You're right. People need to get real. I'll tell you, those posts of mine last week led to some kind of awkward play group conversations. "So, how is your, um, everything?"

MaryBeth said...

Exactly. Why can't people admit and accept that life is hard...it just is. Men are that they might have joy, but that joy is between all the crap in life. Deal with it.

And Emma, yes, you get double points for airing your dirty laundry. Hope it dries quickly.

amy germer said...

You always say things like they are -no candy coatings!
Last Tuesday I was helping the lady I visit teach unload some food storage from a truck and unthinkingly said "I hate food storage". They looked at me like I hate cursed. We have 6monthes worth sitting in our garage that I hope I never have to use-but, it so a pain to me. I guess they have a testimony of it and I haven't received mine yet.
They grind their own flour and make bread every day. I like to buy my bread from a store-I'm such a bad Mormon.

Sharilyn said...

**hanging head** I'm a "Walking on Sunshine" kind of girl. My problem is that my "prolems" are lame in comparison to most.

I was wondering where you'd been lately... I hadn't seen you around all of the usual places.

JAMIE said...

there are certain things that you don't need to pretend are okay.

Sometimes life just sucks, and it's healthy and normal to feel that way.

But trying to see the positive and the benefits of "trial", doesn't mean you are broken either.

There are different types of people. I am a little bit of both.

Praise God that there are meds like Prozac...you heard me hating motherhood not to long ago, now I'm on Zoloft and I cannot express to you how great I feel. Aren rocks because of who he is, and because of who you are!

Lors said...

I do have to say that life has handed you some .....pretty hard things... hard just doesn't seem like a strong enough word. But that is what makes you so amazing and inspiring. You just keep being you and dealing with it any way you can. I am sure that everyone will agree, that it is so easy to be around you, because we all can be ourselves and not put on some show. You are the BEST Marybeth!

Michemily said...

I had the opportunity of hearing Elder Oaks and his wife speak last week. She had some very profound things to say. What most impressed me was that she said, "Don't deny your feelings. You will have lonely times where you will feel like crying. Don't try to ignore it. You can't always be happy, and those are the times when you have the opportunity to get closer to your Father in Heaven." I like the honesty in that statement. I don't think that justifies always having a sarcastic or negative outlook, but it realizes that there are hard times.

MaryBeth said...

I completely agree. One thing I didn't bring up was the fact that you can't let the negative stick around very long because then it begins to define you, which is never good.

It's difficult trying to find a balance between recognizing your feelings and allowing them to be part of you and letting your feelings overtake you.

Anonymous said...

I hate being pregnant. Hate it. I don't mind the kicks, because it tells me the kid is still alive and well. But, I would MUCH rather have a good night's sleep.
I am SO miserable right now, and I have to fight the tendency to whine and wallow.
Sarcasm is my friend, it's the only way I can survive relatively sane.
I have to be able find the humor in life, or else I would LOSE MY MIND!!!
I think you're awesome MB!

Velda said...

OK Marybeth. I am learning that it's way better to acknowledge whatever emotions you've got so you can figure out what they're trying to tell you and what you need to do.

Hiding the emotions and not taking action regarding the thing that's causing them = really messed up.

I'm for faking it till you make it with, say, exercising. Or at least doing it whether you love it or not until it starts to pay off, you know?

But what do you do if someone asks how you're doing and they probably don't WANT the whole story (even if they think they do), or you don't want to rehash it? Or what if you just don't want to feel like a gossip and you're pissed at someone? I am a fan of saying "I'm still alive, right?" - but I must admit I try to say it with a smile and a laugh so only the morbidly curious pry.

Ironically, the fun meds seem to make that easier for me.

Hoping I get to come see you guys soon,


Emilie and Branden said...

This is why we're friends...we understand each other. And believe me, I would be posting much more often on The Daily Uncool right now if I didn't know that people at a record label are constantly googling the words "neon" and "trees" and my husband's name. Don't even get me started. And when you're pissed that life is sucking, just think of pads flying on the bus. It works for me.

bretandmarissafam said...

I've been trying to "fake it till I make it" a lot lately. Some nights it doesn't work and I bawl my eyes out. But then I look at Darci's courage and find ways to put one foot in front of the other. Some days it doesn't feel like I'm faking it and that I'm really doing OK. I've never been on such a roller coaster of emotions.
I need life lessons from MB.

Elizabeth said...

I really like what MICHEMILY said. I wish I could have heard that talk. A couple months ago I went to a successful mothering convention because I felt like things at home were a little more out of control than I like and I wanted to change some things. Mark and I still haven't found time to talk about all I learned but I like one thing that one of the speakers said. She said that if you are in a really nasty mood and feel like lashing out at the next kid who walks through the door to think of something funny that happened or of several funny things that happened and it will change your mood. Well, one day I tried it and she was right. I started laughing and then when the kids came to tattle I didn't get mad and things were better than they would have been.
MB, I think you would be surprised how many people are on anti depressants. Me, for instance. I have 5 kids and one on the way and there are days I just want to run away from all the mess and the pressures. The zoloft really helps me keep my wits about me. There is nothing wrong with needing meds to cope when what you're doing just isn't working. Motherhood is very demanding and you do what you have to do to get through the day. Sorry this is so long.

brossettelewis said...

My most recent life is sucky post is thanks in part to you. :)

Inalynn said...

It seems that most of my blog post lately have been of the life is sucky nature.
I told James the other day that another reason this is our last baby is I just can't handle stupid people.
I get tired of people coming up to me because I'm pregnant and making stupid comments or thinking they can touch me.

Andersonland said...

Very well put. I think too much stress and sorrow are created by members of the Church trying to put on a perfect front. I know for me it's that way.

And Amy you are not a bad Mormon for not wanting to bake your own bread. I can't and don't and don't feel bad about it. I would also never think of canning my food. That's what Costco is for.