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Wellness and Personal Development

Faking It - Part II

Mark Gorkin, LCSW ("The Stress Doc")

The Stress Doc continues to go with the flow of reader mail. Additional thoughts on the issue of "Faking It," including reflections from the original author, and a closing letter from a recent reader trying to break out from his state of burnout.

Readers Respond to "Faking It": Part II

Well I must say I was impressed by the variety of perspectives and opinions to the thought-provoking piece by, along with responses to other readers' comments. Can one raise oneself out of a depressed or funky mood by manufacturing some positive feelings or expression? This was the basic issue posed in the original article, after taking some psychotherapeutic and biochemical steps to address a depressed phase. Arleen, in fact, closed her column with a "Top Ten" list:

The ABCs of Faking It!

  1. Smile till your cheeks hurt!
  2. Ladies - put your makeup on!
  3. Subscribe to joke lists and repeat them to people!
  4. When you do something embarrassing - laugh at yourself!
  5. Go to a comedy club
  6. Stop listening to sad love-gone-wrong songs on the radio!
  7. Flirt with someone you dont know - tastefully - we dont want trouble
  8. Stop Whining and Complaining
  9. Watch small children at play
  10. Pretend you are having the time of your life at whatever it is you are doing!

(For the original article, email me at .) Well reader response and her own processing stimulated further reflection by our original guest writer. Arleen, take it away...

Those responses are what you get for putting up words that were never meant for publication! I just read the responses you sent. I actually received a couple of "thank you" notes! If my words, written to you as self therapy (or the keyboard ramblings of a near lunatic) helped anyone -or made them pause and think - GREAT!

Between you and me, years ago I leaned to handle anger and sadness from Leo Buscalia - he said something to the effect of: If you're going to be in a bad mood - Enjoy that bad mood - get into it then get over it! And never put it upon someone else!

I'm still practicing. I don't run from reality. Can't in my business. I have a few close family and friends who are always willing to lend an ear. I don't plan on staying on the Welbutrin! But, what I leaned about it medically made sense. I don't always take Advil for a headache either !

Perhaps the most important thing I've leaned about "Faking It" is that sometimes it's NOT. I'm straight forward to a fault. I'm also very human. And just like giving a friend a hug and telling them to lighten up - sometimes putting a smile on my face - puts one in my heart. The cool trick about my brand of "Faking It" is that it makes my lip pouting, eyebrow furrowed face brighten up - and turns MY reality into realizing all the joy all around us.

Take care, Doc!


I, too, went through hell before I finally decided that the world didn't need to see me fall apart. I would sit at home and wait for someone to entertain me...

Faking it made me smile again...the more I put on the face, the more I began to believe it. The more I believed it, the less it was faking it. I eventually began convincing myself that dealing with all the shit was better than the alternative.

Doc, she ain't wrong. It works if you are willing to give yourself the kick in the ass it takes to fool the world for a bit.

Marla Hunter former divorced lunatic, full time mom, student, customer service rep and now a very happy woman


From:"PandoraNnc responded to my quote, below:

--Our psychic glass is often half full and half empty. --

The really important thing is not whether our glass is half full OR half empty......but whether we intend to fill the glass or empty it!!!!!

I recall an old episode of All in the Family (a la Archie Bunker fame) where Gloria and Michael were having marital difficulties after their son was born.....Edith Bunker, with her dingbat homespun wisdom, told Gloria to go for a walk with Michael and hold his hand and soon she would be surprised at what else she was doing with him!!!!! Faking it?? I think not.....sometimes we have to take a step in the direction we wish to go (whether or not we feel like it) in order to begin the journey.


From:"LdyOLorien responding to a previous reader's submission, immediately below, writes:

Reality is sadness, loneliness, depression, mindlessness, heartache, pain, lethargy, loss of control, deceit, hypocrisy--and others' reality...all interspersed with the seductive tease of "true happiness," temporary spurts of passion in our lives, be it from a "job well done" or "FALLING in love."


::grins softly::

Then I must be really abnormal. These points of *reality* are truly infrequent for me compared to the very real enjoyment and happiness I feel in just *being.* This appears to be a rather bleak onesided overview of *reality.* I also know we all experience different *realities* and truths. Balance is of course the entire spectrum of emotions and I think happiness is the ability to accept and process emotions and see them in perspective. Adaptability not dysfunction being the goal. True happiness is just as attainable as depression but pessimism is more condusive to depression and the statement I took out as quotes smacks of pessimism. I will apologize if I have inadvertantly missed the point of what you wrote as I didnt read the originating article from the previous newsletter.

Sincerely ~ Lorien


Once again, a thoughtful, powerful array. Thank you all for sharing. To rephrase our President, "I feel your brain."

And finally a fellow who was able to escape his own pain. Randy had been caught up in the burnout related to what's next. A martial arts champion and a successful corporate president, he felt trapped, sense his need to "let go" and discover a new (and renewed) path. I wrote a recent piece about living from the inside out, engaging in passion play and exploring one's shadow side in response to his inquiry. Here's his update:

Thank you for the help. All seems to be going well in my life. I have found a new love and have sold the business to devote all my time to her. She is a very special lady and I can at this time in my life afford to take a break from the day to day business of martial arts and focus on her and my needs. I am still in the arts, with a team fight scheduled in Little Rock Ar. in June.

I have realized that I will now be taking the role of coach for these championships and will work hard in this area to help younger players gain the confidence and knowledge that my teachers have given to me.

I will also be traveling to help our organization buy and set up a FREE childrens hospital in Prescott, AZ. It is a 120 bed unit that will in the beginning be offered to children who are or have been mentally or sexually abused. Our martial arts organization through fund raisers will completely operate the hospital. My new job will be to recruit new schools to help with our efforts. The hospital will soon be able to offer bone doctors to aid children who need this type of service.

I am excited with the future and am looking forward to being in the helping profession again.

Thank you for your valuable efforts

Randy Edwards or

Thank you for your kind words and, especially, for your inspiring letter. It's wonderful when we reach a point of inner peace and acceptance and, then, can truly share with and give to others. Until next time...of course, Practice Safe Stress!

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