“Let no man publish his own righteousness…; sooner let him confess his sins, and then he will be forgiven, and he will bring forth fruit” (Joseph Smith, in History of the Church, 4:479).
I have totally been there. Addiction is a double life, a life of masks, a surreal world. I guess this “looking good to others” started early on in my life. As a kid, and later teenager, I always hid my true emotions. My sisters often mocked me for random things. I started hiding my true feelings and put on a mask to pretend everything was alright. My mom often said that the gospel makes us happy and that we must be happy all the time. On days where I was sad, upset, or simply not-happy, I felt I had to hide my emotions to pretend I was happy all the time.
Once I became an addict, I would use my drug and then go out and pretend everything was fine. I became an “expert” at pretending.
I have struggled with this even during recovery. Sometimes I feel I need to tell my recovery group or my sponsor I am doing well because “otherwise they’ll think I am nor progressing”.
Yesterday was a hard day; I struggled a lot. School is getting very time consuming. Yesterday was registration day–bottom line: I couldn’t get into two classes I was excited about. That wrecked the whole day because I couldn’t get in because of a typo I made in the system. I blew it! I was so mad and so frustrated. Maurie was me and she understood. I told her I was having a hard time. She understood. However, the whole day yesterday was miserable. That is life–ups and downs–and I guess recovery is about growing up, about coping with life’s ups and downs healthily.
Back to the question: How would a desire to look good for others keep me from improving and bringing forth more fruit?
I guess this is tied back to honesty. Pretending to be fine when not is dishonesty. This reminds me of the times I minimized my sins before bishops. This last time I couldn’t do it; I had to be completely honest. Pretending is dangerous for me. I cannot live in lies anymore. Doing so perpetuates my addiction.