Denial…It ain’t just a river in Egypt! The degrees of it in our lives vary, but I firmly believe that every single human on Earth has experienced it at some point in our lives. This is because, for a time, denial serves us. We deny what we cannot accept or handle, and it protects us from ourselves. But it cannot last forever. At some point, the veil falls, and we become hyperaware of whatever it is we were trying to deny, which can be so painful. We may feel shame from it, or aggravated from it, but that can be normal when beginning to process things we have denied for so long!
Sometimes, it looks easier to be in denial. As the saying goes, “Ignorance is bliss.” Denial does not stay blissful for long. It becomes a monster that grows and grows, skewing our behavior, creating chaos and unmanageability in our lives. Denial and control go hand in hand; as long as we deny that we are being controlling and do not change our behavior, we will continue to control and deny as a form of trying to feel in control in the mess that we’ve gotten into.
How do we defeat denial, then? What can we do to thrust ourselves from denial and into recovery from it? The key is acceptance. Rather than using all of our energy to fight against something that we cannot escape, we can accept that there is an issue, and go about trying to solve it. We will save energy, and feel less chaotic if we begin to accept. Accepting things about ourselves does not mean that we are giving up. It means that we are standing up, willing and ready to fight whatever comes our way from a place of strength rather than anxiety.
I hope that today, you can challenge yourself to look inward and see if there is anything you think you’re having a hard time accepting. If there is, remind yourself that it’s okay to accept ourselves for who we are, even if we feel as though we have to make changes in our behavior. Once you start accepting, you can begin recovering!