Running away from your problems is nothing other than a defense mechanism. No matter how many times you try, it will not make your problems just disappear. If anything, suppressing your problems will increase the chances of you expressing them in self-destructive ways.. such as drinking too much, doing something you know you shouldn’t be doing, or anything along those lines. If you are hiding from your problems, you are most likely using a coping mechanism that is not at all healthy.. and that is.. denial. If you want to become and appear a stronger person, you need to face you problems head on. Address, acknowledge and deal with them. Don’t let them build up, and don’t make excuses. Everyone has problems; life is full of constant up and downs, mistakes and lessons, love and losses. Therefore it is important to learn how to deal with what life can throw at you in a healthy, head-on way.
Denial is a coping mechanism that I have turned to for most of my life, therefore it hasn’t been an easy habit to kick. I sometimes still struggle with it and have to pinch myself when I catch myself doing it. As I’ve mentioned in other blog posts, I have a diary that I have written in every single day since March 2009. It has become part of my daily routine and I usually have no trouble motivating myself to write in it. However, I have learned to recognize that whenever I feel overwhelmed at the thought of writing about something, I should take that as a sign that I am attempting to run away from something. So when this happens, I have started to literally force myself to just write. Just open up my diary and start typing. Face reality. Acknowledge how I feel, why I feel that way and express it. Get it all out. Then, I am able to better organize my thoughts, reflect back on them and then move on.
A perfect example of this was sometime last year when I was struggling with the end of a toxic relationship. Whenever I would have too much to drink, I would find myself responding to my ex and agreeing to see him. The next day I would instantly regret it and would be so confused as to why I even went in the first place. Not only did I regret it, but I would be so incredibly angry at myself. Unforuntately, this started to happen more and more as time went on and I remember feeling too ashamed to tell anyone since I already felt bad enough. As the situation kept happening over and over, I learnt an unhealthy way to cope with it and that was to simply push it out of my mind; stop thinking about it and pretend it never happened. Pretend to be just fine and deny anything being wrong. It started to feel like less and less of a problem to me .. however, in reality, it was slowly building and building and it lead to my point of rock bottom which I talked about in one of my first blog posts “If You Don’t Get Lost, There Is A Chance You Will Never Be Found”. It was my downward spiral into a breakdown.
What I should of done, was acknowledge what I was doing. Write about it, express it and try to figure out why I was allowing myself to get into such sticky situations. I shouldn’t of been so hard on myself and I shouldn’t of pretended that I was fine to everyone else, because that in itself is draining. When we learn to be honest with ourselves, we begin to feel and acknowledge any discomfort, reflect on it and then do something about it. Doing something about it could be as simple as sitting with your feelings of discomfort, or it could be proactively doing something so that you do not find yourself in that position again. Trust me, life is a lot easier when we are able to be honest with ourselves, address our problems and figure out how to fix them and protect yourself. I decided to share this post today because I just needed to remind myself to stay clear from the power of denial.
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