How to Fight Loneliness, Smile All The Time

There’s this Wilco song called “How to Fight Loneliness”. Jeff Tweedy, the lead singer strums his guitar and pours the lyrics out. “How to fight loneliness, smile all the time, shine your teeth to meaningless, and sharpen them with lies”.  I take this song to be one of bitterness. Tweedy is positing that the only way to make another person love him is to lie, and the only way to love another person is to lie. He’s struck out too many times in love to believe that he could be himself and still connect with those around him. He has to “smile all the time”. He has to lie and obfuscate.


There’s something in this that appeals to the mind over matter side of me. I’m a firm believer in a “fake it til you make it” sort of mentality. Mostly because as you fake it you flex muscles. You learn how to say no by practicing saying no, for instance. However, This sort of bitterness is only destructive and can lead to severe drug and alcohol addiction. Tweedy however, “loves to hate things”. It’s almost in his culture. It’s certainly his personality, which is one of the reasons he is such a beloved musician, he can help a listener feel that place and funnel that sort of bitterness into something more tangible. Something that can not only evoke and affirm emotion, but move the body in a way as to almost provide some sense of healing.


Tweedy gives this to his listeners as a kind of gift. He feels all of this bitterness right out in public. “You laugh at every joke. Drag your blanket blindly, fill your heart with smoke.” You hear the words and you know that feeling of placating someone because you’re in need of connection. You’re lonely. You can get there, to a place where the bitterness becomes a feeling in your bones as you filter your feelings through his words.

Tweedy would agree with me about his bitterness being destructive. He was an Opioid addict for years. He says that as he looks back at that time the idea of taking opioids makes him sick. He was miserable, he says. as someone who, he himself, went through Opioid rehab. Florida has some of the best rehabs so if you’re in South Florida give us a call at (844) 299-0618 so we can walk you through our treatment programs and help you get a plan started that will work for you.


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