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.