“We are slow to believe that which, if believed, would hurt our feelings.” – Ovid
I took that quote directly out of TLLG (well, I added commas because I thought it added more emphasis, but whatever).
Denial is a magnetic coping mechanism. You can say, “This relationship is working,” or “My job is fine,” or “I just added on a few pounds,” but facing reality is tough, and it’s something not everyone (myself included) feels compelled to do.
Denial’s like a warm pair of fuzzy slippers. They may be really worn (“well travelled?”), but goddamnit, they are COMFORTABLE. They’re familiar.
I’ve gone through this a time or two. Mostly with relationships, whether romantic or platonic. I wanted so badly to hold onto what it meant – and sometimes, what it was supposed to mean – that I was willing to believe that the way I was acting was just fine. That the sacrifice I made for some perceived notion of happiness (not actual!) was okay. I’ve had people scream at me, “AMANDA – DO YOU NOT GET IT?”
Well, clearly, I didn’t.
But that’s the thing. You can’t just wake up one day and say, “Here’s reality!” in the same tone Jack Nicholson did in “The Shining” because then your sanity would be questioned. Not to mention that the suddenness of all of that harsh acceptance would probably crush you. It’s gotta be something you deal with day by day. Even if it takes you months. Even if you don’t fully grasp it for years.
Eventually, it won’t be so crushing. Eventually, you’ll heal. Eventually, you might even find some actual happiness, and the most amazing part? It’ll come from you.
I might sound like I’ve got all of this figured out; I don’t. I stumble – A LOT (breakfast today was a whole pint of ice cream. And my hormones are sweetly saying, “No worries, lady. It’s PMS,” and my mind is saying, “YOU’RE GOING TO END UP WITH A TEAR-STAINED FACE ON DR. OZ WHEN YOU’VE GAINED 900 POUNDS AND HAVE SOME FORM OF DIABETES THEY HAVEN’T EVEN FOUND AND YOU DON’T EVEN WATCH DR. OZ!” and my stomach is saying, “But… *sigh* for real, you bitch? I just lost 10 of those. Thanks.” See? I stumble).
So I keep trying, and tell myself that while facing reality is hard, so is fighting denial. And with each little victory, I become a happier, healthier person – the kind of person I’d like to be.