Recently, I wrote about a friend of mine being in denial about her husband’s substance abuse. Their marriage is in shambles, but instead of doing anything about it, she’s kept her head in the sand and maintained the belief that things will magically get better.
Denial is a coping mechanism that many of us turn to in order to avoid facing the painful reality of a certain situation. But the good news is, we don’t have to stay in this state of mind forever – there are steps we can take to stop denying our problems and start dealing with reality.
Time to Face Reality
If you’re in denial about a loved one’s addiction and how it’s negatively impacting your life, here’s a look at six ideas designed to help you dig your way out of that mental rut:
- Be Honest With Yourself
All you need to do is look at the situation you’re in and ask: What is occurring and how does it make you feel? Being completely open and honest with yourself is the first step.
Pain requires presence and awareness so by putting it to pen and paper allows you to identify the painful emotions that are holding you back, as well as help you identify any irrational beliefs you have about your situation.
- Open Up to a Close Friend or Therapist
It’s easy to feel the need to isolate and not let anyone in on things that you’re struggling with, but this is actually counter-productive. Having someone there to help walk you through the painful reality of your situation is therapeutic, plus soliciting their help will help you focus on an actual solution.
- Join a Support Group
There are great resources out there for people who are in your same shoes. Support groups, such as Al-Anon, aren’t only healing and empowering, but they help you realize you’re not alone in your struggles, too.
- Practice Self-Love
This is a trying time, but now isn’t the time to blame yourself. Stay away from negative self-talk. Any additional negativity will only hinder your progress in being able to carry out solutions to the problem at hand.
- Focus On the Solution
Deep down, what do you want to happen? Once you’ve arrived at a decision, think about steps you can take to arrive at your solution and resolve the problem at hand.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is, by being proactive, you’re taking control of your life instead of feeling completely powerless over what occurs. Denial can be difficult to overcome, but by facing your life head-on, you can grow as a person and reach a level of happiness that you’ve never experienced before.
Additional Reading: Cut to the Chase – What Made Me Stop Using?
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