The Great Escape

“The worst lies are the lies we tell ourselves. We live in denial of what we do, even what we think. We do this because we’re afraid. ~Richard Bach

To a degree, denial is a coping mechanism. As long as we don’t face whatever the ugly truth is, it doesn’t exist in our minds. We deny truth because we don’t know how to deal with it. Or maybe, we just don’t want to deal with the situation.

We often have an inkling that something is amiss, but avoidance is much easier than dealing with issues head on. If the consequences are life-altering, we’d rather stay within our comfort zone as long as we can. It might be a problem at work or home or a situation involving someone we love. We might not want to experience the pain or discomfort that confrontation can bring. Most likely we are afraid of the changes that will happen in our lives. We tend to think life is simpler when we continue as we are. Sometimes waiting makes things worse as tension builds in the relationship and time accrues damages. 

We want to stick to our own agendas, not what we think life is throwing at us. We’re afraid of what others might think. We are not ready to see things for what they are. Maybe, we don’t have faith that we will get through the consequences. When we deny truth we do not live in reality, we live in a fog, a haze.

Denial seems safe when we don’t know how to cope with truth. We are overwhelmed with possibilities of what might happen.  We alter, exaggerate, or disregard facts. We don’t  want our lives to be disturbed or disrupted from our normal routines. We feel threatened by confrontation. We are insecure for our futures. We repress our feelings. We act as if nothing is wrong, and it eats away at us.

I have snuggled up to and held steadfastly to this thing called denial. There have been times that I haven’t wanted to face facts about other people, but I also have not wanted to admit my own motives for choices I have made. I”m not sure if it’s harder to find that someone close to you is not at all who you thought them to be or to acknowledge your own fallacies. I have also known people to deal with obstinate circumstances and come out stronger than ever.

It is human nature to try to escape reality at times. The safetly of denial is short lived. Benerally, the longer we wait to confront reality, the more difficult the situation becomes. The upside is we usually prove to be more resilient than we give ourselves credit.

“Sometimes denial has a way of sneaking up and biting us in the ass. And when the dam bursts, all you can do is swim. The world of pretend is a cage, not a cocoon. We can only lie to ourselves for so long. We are tired, we are scared, denying it doesn’t change the truth. Sooner or later we have to put aside our denial and face the world. Head on, guns blazing. De Nile. It’s not just a river in Egypt, it’s a freakin’ ocean. So how do you keep from drowning in it?” ~Meredith Grey, Grey’s Anantomy

25 thoughts on “The Great Escape

  1. We’ve all done it and ofetn it is some fabricated thing we have made up in our minds that never turn out the way we thought they would.

  2. “We might not want to experience the pain or discomfort that confrontation can bring. Most likely we are afraid of the changes that will happen in our lives. We tend to think life is simpler when we continue as we are.”

    Yes…I’ve thought that myself. Many times.

    Yet, what I ended up discovering was that it took more energy to deny, than it did to actaully deal with it, once I did.

    Excellent post, Suzi! Love that last quote.

  3. Wow. Get out of my head! Seriously though – you are spot on with this post. Sometimes I try and convince myself that “It’s better the Devil you know than the Devil you don’t”, but I think we both know that’s just another form of denial. 🙂

    BTW – Is it crazy that I *love* that you quoted Meredith from Grey’s Anatomy?

    PS – Thank you so much for those SUPER nice things you had to say when you commented on my blog the other day. I wanted to email you and thank you properly, and looked all over your site…but no email link? Or maybe I’m just blind…? Anyway, I truly appreciated your comment, and wanted to let you know. Thanks again!

  4. I agree with you totally of this.
    I am often guilty of this even though i get really annoyed to see other people do the same.
    Fear of the unknown can be a very powerful one.
    So we tend to reject something in our own minds.
    But if the change is needed, only we can instigate that.
    Great post here Suzi

  5. You spelled out so well … exactly what I see going on with others around me and within myself. It seems so easy sometimes to just avoid the confrontations and changes instead of diving in and doing what inside we know needs to be done. My family is going through some tough times right now … thanks for the very timely message. You are so right … procrastinating makes the situation so much harder to deal with. I have accepted that big changes need to be implemented … problem is .. how do you convince others who are still in denial? … lots of tough love going on up here in the woods these days.
    Thanks for an excellent and wise post.

    • I wish you the best with your situation there in the woods. We always just have to use our best judgment. Knowing what I should do and actually doing them are two entirely different things!

  6. I’ve thought a lot about this lately, mostly how blatent others’ denial of their own behavior can be, while they’re out busy judging everyone else. Self-awareness is the key. It can be tricky to constantly see oneself as others do, while balancing the internal rhythm that keeps us from getting caught up in the world. Ah! Always room to grow and progress.

  7. we should always be hundred percent true to ourselves. Even if the whole world is against that honesty.

    the last para said a lot why we should not fool ourselves.


  8. Yup.

    Sometimes there is also the denial we engage because we really can’t change things. So since there is no way to change it it is just easier to not face it and then just let it happen. There are some things you just really can’t do anything about. And for me knowing about them and worrying is just a waste of time. There is nothing I can do . . .

  9. Deconstructing denial is certainly difficult. There are so many motivations for it that leaving it behind is almost impossible at times. But I believe truth always emerges, sometimes sooner, other times later and denial becomes no longer an option.

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