August 16, 2013: "denial! There are no bad days in recovery is all part of denial." A documentary this week, about PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder, just highlights the level of denial anyone can have, any organisation can have, any government can have about harm being done. A perfect storm of denial, "I don't have "PTSD," "they don't have PTSD," "if there is such a thing as PTSD, it happened way after we had any responsibility for it." The problem exists and everyone denies that PTSD applies.
I was in denial about my addiction to alcohol? And yet the world new I had a problem? I guess the problem is how do we deal with the unacceptable truth of what is going on? Where there is denial, by the individual or by those around them, that there is an unacceptable truth which would go away of its own accord, further down the line is death and destruction. And it is very unfashionable to confront a problem which can remain hidden and isolated until the individual snaps and there is no way back. In my experience, it was completely unacceptable for me to be suffering from a mental illness which was killing me and harming the emotional well-being of those who cared for me. And those who are trying to care for me did not have a clue what to do. I have the good fortune to be in Fellowship.
I do get bad days in recovery and if I were unable to identify what is good, what is bad and what is ugly, I'm pretty sure it will be based on my ignorance on the one hand and denial on the other. Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to emotional and spiritual living. What you don't know about is probably hurting you and wounding you very deeply. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. If it is broke, we do have to fix it if we can. And yet denial will keep us in ignorance for many reasons.
There is such a thing as a bad day in living. Bad things happen to good people, good things happen to bad people and there is a lot of ugliness around. Recognise it, the truth of now and deal with it in whatever seems the most appropriate way. First is to get beyond denial and recognise there is something we do not understand or know about. Then courage to ask for help and keep on asking and knocking on the right doors. We don't know the right doors to knock on until we have probably knocked on the wrong doors for quite a while.
I am an alcoholic in recovery one day at a time. I belong to a Fellowship and continue to learn how a set of principles keep me honest, open and willing to change. Hopefully when I cannot cope, I ask for help so that denial is a shorter process in my life. I will still have denial in my set of skills to cope with the impossible and unacceptable. Denial is a part of life and needs to be when life is not acceptable.
How am I feeling this morning? HALT: am I hungry, angry, lonely, tired? None of these. A happy phone call early and my mood is good. Reflections about why we need denial is not a sign of weakness, it is a strengthening skill in the long run to cope when life is beyond difficult. A phone call of concern from my landlord about plumbing leaks from my home to my neighbour is of concern. A friend of mine is really very unwell and angry and resentful at their situation. Something I have learned, I cannot think on behalf of other people, but if it were to ask the help, I might have a suggestion. And even better, if I don't know the answer, I probably know someone who might or can do something for another person today.
Alcoholics Anonymous Videos, AA is for Alcoholics, AA 12 Steps, Addiction And Recovery, DonInLondon, Don Oddy,