Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Denial Is My Friend

People cope with the trials of life in different ways.

Some drink. Some do drugs. Some go shopping. Some head for the fridge. Some people become angry, some become obsessive, and others become depressed. I have tried various coping mechanisms in my life. My personal favorite, though, is denial.

My brain seems to have a switch, and when things are bad enough, that switch gets thrown. At different times that might mean
  • I convince myself that I misunderstood and the situation isn't as bad as I thought.
  • I feel like the situation isn't really part of my life - it's like it is happening somehow separate from me.
  • I tell myself that I don't have to deal with the problem now. It might resolve itself, somehow, later, or I can deal with it when the rest of my life slows down.

Denial is rarely a conscious choice for me. My mind sort of moves there on its own for self-preservation.

As I have gotten older, I've learned to recognize denial when it creeps in. Sometimes I will notice physical signs that I am stressed when I am not conscious of my anxiety or worries. I recognize that it helps me over extreme circumstances until I am better capable of dealing with them... or until I just can't ignore them any longer. 

Denial gets me through seasons of waiting. I embrace it as a tool, knowing it is just that - a temporary means for survival and peace.

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