"No one really benefits from you pretending." —Stephen C. Paul

If you’ve been following my Recovery Talks for a while you may notice there has been a transformation. In the beginning, my writing was bright, sunshine, hope-covered unicorns that are jumping over rainbows made of cotton candy and angel songs. As time and life have continued I couldn’t pretend or hide behind words when the harder moments have come along.

It’s scary, if I’m honest, because there are times that I’m literally bearing my soul to people I’ve never met and even harder, I’m baring my soul to people that know me. I often panic and think, “What if they realize my weakness or see the truth of my brokenness?”

Then a quote like this comes along and, though my panic at sharing isn’t gone, it’s a great reminder that I’m just as human as the next person. We all need to know we aren’t alone in the struggle of life. I might be able to keep putting on a brave, smiling face but how would that help us? You struggle and I want you to know you aren’t alone.

Pretending we are awesome when we aren’t means we pass on the community meant to help us recover from life’s darker moments. Worse than that (for me) it means we pass on the ability to help someone else in their own life recovery. It turns out I can’t pretend – but being real, especially in my roughness, helps me heal instead of hurt.

Pretending doesn’t mean benefit but the truth helps us all.

Sarah Deats

Sarah Deats is the Arizona Outpatient Support Services Manager at RI International and the Hope Inc. Stories Inspiration Engineer. Her goals are to make a connection with everyone that she can while building community, spreading hope, and sparking change. She believes that while life may not be easy, it is never lived alone.