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Breaking Through Denial: A Guide

In our previous Alumni blog, we discussed denial. We took a look at what denial is in a positive light and a negative light. At worst, denial is the way we avoid stepping into transformation. At best, denial is the way we prepare ourselves to step into transformation. What keeps us from stepping up to the wind of change in our life varies depending on who we are, and most often, the trauma we have endured. We looked at how the trauma we have survived can inspire our aversion to change, especially when that change can involve pain or loss. Our trauma might have included abandonment, but it is the experience of trauma as a whole which changes the way we see ourselves and our relation to the world, which primes us to having a problem with denial.

Change is the inevitable in life, the current upon which we can always rely. At any given moment, the make up of the earth is changing, the makeup of our cellular body is changing, and everyone is growing in some way. There is life and death happening every day, in a multitude of realistic and metaphorical ways. Yet for whatever reason, it is the changes which specifically include our having to experience uncomfortable emotional states which challenge and threaten us the most. Pieces of the past keep hold on our ability to grow into the future because they program our mind, body, and spirit to run away as far as possible from any feeling which resembles feelings in the past. The phenomenon of fearing, viscerally, cellularly, physically, and psychologically fearing a feeling experience which either reminds us of or could mean we have to live through trauma again is the core of what trauma does to us. Denial is one of the many coping mechanisms we develop to avoid the intricate fear of feeling- feeling something that we aren’t entirely sure we will be able to survive feeling. Traumatic feelings, memories, and sensations seem as though they threaten our lives. Denial helps stave that fear off, keep the change at bay, and make it seem as if we are protected a little while longer.

What Helps Us Break Through Denial

Our tendency to dip into denial doesn’t end when we graduate treatment. Throughout our lives and our recovery, we will encounter the potential to feel something we don’t want to feel, so we’ll find some way to settle into denial until we’re ready to feel it. Unfortunately, there is no one person, place, or thing which will break through our denial for us or tell us when our denial breakthrough is going to take place.

Endless writings on spirituality, transformation, change, and personal development focus on a similar sentiment which explains the lack of anticipation for breaking through denial. The thought is that there is never truly a “right time” to change. We can spend every day justifying, rationalizing, thinking, and analyzing before we take action in our lives or even make a decision to be open to whatever new information we need in our lives to create a change. The truth of the matter is that a denial breakthrough takes two forms: it happens when it needs to or it doesn’t happen at all. We can spend our entire lives living in denial of something and as a result we never allow ourselves to embrace the life which lives on the other side of denial.

Courage Is Stepping Through Fear

Courage is stepping through the fear of what waits on the other side of denial. Living in denial means living in fear of what is on the other side of knowing. We know that something in our life isn’t right. We know that in order to make our lives better we have to change. We know that the process of change may be uncomfortable. What we don’t know is:

      • Will the change be worth it?
      • Will the change be painful?
      • Will life be any better?

We fear what is on the other side of knowing, which is silly, because if we know that the way we’re living now isn’t as good as the way we could be living, we already know, on some level, what we fear because we feel we have a lack of answers.

We Can Overcome Our Denial And Our Fears

We can overcome our denial, our fears, and whatever we are in denial about or have fears about. Courage, bravery, honesty, and vulnerability are all required to walk up to our denial and say “Thank you, but your service is no longer necessary.” If we have graduated trauma treatment, which might have included concurrent treatment for addictions of varying kinds and/or other mental health issues, we have already accomplished an incredible feat in our lives. We have the ability, strength, and skill to walk through every change and challenge life has to offer us.

When you graduate trauma treatment, the rubber meets the road, as it is said. To live successfully in recovery from trauma, addictions, or related mental health issues, we need the care and professionalism of an experienced, specialized staff who provide us excellence in treatment. Our alumni learn how to thrive in their lives not in spite of trauma, but because of it. We’re always here to welcome those in need of help at The Guest House Ocala. Call us today for information and resources: 1-855-483-7800