When it comes to addiction, most of us would rather look away than ever face it.
But that’s its greatest strength. The ability to hide in plain sight. Not unlike the schoolyard bully, who is only as powerful as we are afraid of him, our addictions are only as dangerous as our ability to deny their existence.
We’re only as a sick as our secrets, as they say in the recovery movement.
The problem is, denial works. It works so well that we even deny denial. No wonder it’s affectionately called the longest river in the world. Denial is a critical part of the human coping mechanism. It helps us avoid everything from minor discomfort to mind blowing conflict.
Thinking back to my years of workaholism, codependency and love addiction, it’s almost embarrassing how often my head was stuck in a cloudy fog of denial. You’d think multiple trips to the hospital for stress related illnesses would have been enough of a whack upside the head.
But it wasn’t. Denial is that good at its job.
Thankfully, though, a robust support system of friends, family members, mentors and therapists helped me wake up to the truth about my reality. Not immediately, of course. As my shrink told me:
It took a long time to get this way, and so, it’s going to take a long time to heal.
But I made it out alive. Stumbling but surviving. And better for having gone through the journey.
Look, everything that happens in our lives becomes part of us, and we take it with us into the future, whether we want to or not. May as well use it for growth.
And so, if you realize that your addiction is talking to you, trying to tempt you into denying that you have one, have an honesty pow wow with five people you love and trust. Ask them to help you put aside whatever it is that’s getting in the way of doing the right thing for yourself.
Because it’s hard to heal alone.
Sometimes we need people to show us something we can’t see for ourselves for us to change forever.
LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Have you ever meditated on how good it will feel to finally stop your denying problems?
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That Guy with the Nametag
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