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Mark Twain

Denial Is Not A River In Eygpt

denialquote,EgyptDenial (the Nile) is not a river in Egypt” is something I might have heard of in Alcoholics Anonymous; but it’s something said by Mark Twain first.  Many people use denial because they say to themselves,,”Denial will never hurt anyone.  It will keep me out of trouble.”  The sometimes scarey trouble of having to do something about it such as when you have $40,000 in credit card debt and you keep making the minimum payments.  It will hurt nobody (but me and you).  Sometimes we are afraid of what other people’s reactions will be to what we don’t want to admit to.

denialroadsignDenial can become so evasive that we no longer are living in the real world.  We may forget what it was that we were denying and this results in a second denial when reality hits us in the face and we have to deal with the consequences.  Then the only thing that we can say (and we now believe it to be true), “I don’t remember doing or having that.”

Denial is one way of dealing with too much stress.  We can’t handle everything that we need to handle so we conveniently forget one or more of them.  This way we miss appointments, don’t get assignments done, and even have a physical condition get worse.  How often have you said,”I don’t have time to deal with that now,” and then to compound the problem have even forgotten that something needed to be done.

“Me?  Face the things I have denied.”  “No, way!”  I have got enough to do and/or worry about right now.  Many of the things we avoid this way generate a lot of anxiety.  Sometimes our body tells us this by creating a physical problem or by making it get worse.  I have done this and have developed hives (both inside and outside my body), earaches, and stomach and bowel problems.  It’s not “all in your head”; but it is not all outside you either.  Some people call them psychosomatic problems?

stressedoutWhat can you do about denial?  Obviously you can take some of the things you stress about off your “To do list“.  You can look for the hidden stress factors which you are basically denying right now and do something (which you have been putting off  doing) This is because doing this will you think make you even more anxious.  With these types of psychosomatic symptoms, recovery can be almost instantaneous when you “sh.. (defecate) or get off the pot”.

I am at my personal limit when this happens.  I often become even more anxious by resolving the problem but there usually an end to the process and I get some relief.  Then I wonder why I tried to deny this problem for so long?  There is a price to pay which does not seem worth it at first and that is why you deny the problem.  Often there are  at least two choices in the process of resolving this problem and neither appears to be a good one.

When in denial, I have carried such burdens by denying them for such a long time that looking back I wondered why I let myself live that way?  How about you?  Is there something you have put off dealing with? or something stupid you are doing which is a waste of time and money (like getting life insurance policies with your spouse with each other as beneficiaries when you really down deep, underneath it all are headed for a divorce)?

signs,doublebindLast, but not least, to avoid one obstacle in life by not seeing it, you start stop seeing other obstacles and soon you have blurry vision and “blind spots.”  You begin seeing more and occurrences through the filter of denial and you get further and further from what is really there or reality.  If this hits home, I suggest you look up the topic, “mindfulness” as it helps develop realistic thinking  and helps you to avoid missing some of the things that are going on (like the look on a person’s face which doesn’t match their words) that would help you make a better judgment.

For example,  you may have been denying to yourself that the person might not have your best interests in mind, but you feel stuck because you feel that person is the only one that can help you.  Sometimes that is called a double-bind.  It is when a person says something that is not matching what they are doing otherwise, like their tone of voice or lack of eye contact.  Denial of one part or other of the equation is a way of dealing  with it and you can guess which people go for (especially if they are all ready insecure).

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