When I was living in my disease I was totally in denial about how sick I was. I would tell myself stories about how it was everyone else’s fault or that things weren’t really that bad, they were. No matter what happened, or how bad things got, I never admitted the truth to myself until I couldn’t deny it anymore because I couldn’t ignore the place I found myself. I was emotionally and spiritually bankrupt, and in grave danger of taking my own life. I think for me, because of my stubbornness and cunning ability to deny my truth, it took me falling down that low for me to finally see the problem, and to be willing to do something about it. I don’t suggest waiting that long, because things very easily could have gone a different way during that time, a more permanent way, one where I no longer had the choice to get well, but I was granted some grace, and a tiny bit of hope, to reach out my hand and finally admit the truth. And, even now, over 13 years later, my mental illness will tell me I don’t have it, that I’m OK, it still actively wants me to fall back into denial.
I wrote recently about being rigorously honest, it’s imperative for me that I live in that place, because if I start to bend the truth, or leave things out of my story, I start to deny what is really going on, of who I am today, and where I came from, and once I start doing that my disease sits up and takes notice. It waits for me to get a little lazy, or back off on my recovery and when and if I do, it peppers denial into my thoughts without me even noticing it and then starts to open the door wider to more and bigger denial, if I allow that to happen, I am in danger of falling back to where I was, or worse.
Life can be painful. There are things that can be hard to face, or admit, but if we don’t live in our truth, admit our faults, and make amends or apologize for what we’ve done denial takes over and tells us all kinds of lies that keep us sick, or isolated, or in our own heads. The truth keeps us well, healthy, and in the light, there is no place for denial in truth. Denial may feel like the safer place, especially if it’s a place we’ve lived in for a while, but it’s deceptive, denial does not keep us safe, it leaves us exposed and in harm’s way, we are only safe when we know and live in the truth.
But first we need to have the willingness to live in our truth, and to see things as they really are, not as we’d like them to be, or prefer them to be, or the story we’d rather tell. Perhaps our story is that we’re not like everyone else, even though we would prefer to be, and so it may be about finding acceptance in ourselves and who we are, and, for some of us, that we do live with some kind of mental illness, or some other health issue that may cause us shame, or difficulty, or may separate us from those around us, if we let it. We may have gotten so good rationalizing our denial, or coming up with alibis for our behavior that living in our truth may seem like a tall order, but it can be done, and needs to be done if we are to live in any kind of healthy loving way. And that brings us back to self-love. When we learn to love ourselves we learn to accept all of who we are, even those parts we used to deny, and when we are able to shine love in those places we used to hide we can truly live in the light and become our true selves.
Denial only leads to more denial, more lies, stories, and untruths. We as SLAYERS live in the light, our truth, we deny denial, we take responsibility for our actions, and we own who we are and what we do. Denial only brings us more pain, and possibly leads us down an even darker path than the one we already find ourselves on. Let go of the fear you may hold of telling your truth, and find the freedom in accepting the truth, and sharing that truth with those in your life. SLAY on!
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you live in denial? What specifically do you refuse to accept? Why do you think you refuse to accept it? What’s stopping you? What are you afraid of? Do you see how living in denial is keeping you sick, or making you sicker? What evidence is there of this in your life? What can you do to get more honest? Write down 5 things. Find acceptance for who you are and what you may struggle with, it’s only then that we begin to step out of the shadows and start living the life that we are meant to, and are capable of having.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you