Jan 3, 2016

The Simple Truth: Denial Wins

Photo credit: Dreamstime.com
(Today's post is adapted from One Foot in Front of the Other: Daily Affirmations for Recovery by Tian Dayton, Ph.D.)

The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.
--Hans Hoffman

Life is a journey, a ride, an adventure.
Recovery then, is more like we get off the ride.
It's the time we take to stop, ground ourselves and learn. To heal. And, recover.
The fun has to stop before it starts again.

Can you remember the day your eyes were opened, the wool was removed and you were made painfully aware of what happened as you were growing up? 

I was seventeen. Hopeful yet jaded, and the "family problems" as I referred to them finally landed me in my school guidance counselors office, skipping the last few classes of the day.

My counselor said to me:

Have you considered the fact your (parent) might be an alcoholic?

I had, I just didn't think it would happen in my family.

I told her this and she told me I may have been in denial, but its time to face the truth.

She asked me some other symptoms and numbness settling in, I answered yes to each one.

"Does your parent drink in the morning?" Yes.
"Does your parent have trouble focusing when not drinking?" Yes.
"Does your parent spend more money on alcohol?" Yes.

I arrived early to the childcare center where I worked after school each day,  parked my car and sat on the wooden bench overlooking the parking lot.

It was an early Spring day, crocuses were peeking their pretty purple and white petals through the patches of remaining snow.

I pulled my knees up to my chest, bracing myself against a cool breeze. Reality bites, I thought, a wellspring of emotions swirling in my gut: anger, shock, sadness, acceptance.

The thing about truth is we often work harder to suppress it. Ever try to hide a beach ball underwater? it's nearly impossible. You exhaust all your effort in pushing it down. It's so perfectly round, and colorful and full of air, and it only wants to float. To be seen. Finally, you can't sustain the constraint anymore. You need to go get a drink, or pee or rest your arms. So, you let it go. It bounces high into the sunlight with a freedom that only something that was once constrained could.

This is how I feel about truth I discovered only a few hours before. A truth I knew, deep in my soul but tried so hard to hold it down, keep it hidden in its dark depths.

The thing with truth is you know it, you want to hide it, to deny it. But, if you let it go, it will always float.

But the beach ball is colorful. Wide parallel stripes of blue, red, orange, yellow, white. It signifies fun, vacation, sport, sunshine. It's a cheap plastic that can be bought at any pool store (or convenience store in summer) A harmless piece of plastic made in China.
All it requires is two minutes of hot air to  become this buoyant, round monster that cannot be held underwater.

It can only be defeated by being deflated.
But, is deflating the same as denying? Is it another coping strategy? Just one more attempt to hide the truth?

How do we deflate the truth?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting!