The door may have been open but what’s on the other side? Fear of the unknown is a powerful reason to stay in places that are undesirable and even toxic. Why? Because we know those places. We know what to expect and have developed ways to cope, even when our methods of coping harm us.
I always had options but exercising those options meant that I would have to change. It meant that I would have to reveal myself and at that point in my life, telling the truth, asking for help and making huge changes seemed impossible. I preferred living in denial and having another big glass of chardonnay.
The problem is that once you’ve discovered something, you can’t un-discover it. It’s knowledge that will always be there unless you work very hard to bury it in denial. As I write this, I’m feeling uncomfortable because this is what I used to do and by doing this I was constantly living in a state of cognitive dissonance which means living in a state of mental conflict – having certain core beliefs yet doing something or behaving in ways that aren’t consistent with those beliefs. The tension that is created is very real both emotionally and physically and needs to be relieved somehow. I chose numbing myself for many years with daily infusions of alcohol because I refused to consider change. I tried very hard to make this habit look glamorous by only drinking expensive wines in lovely stemmed glasses but the hard reality was that I was intentionally numbing myself with alcohol and the quality of the wines and the vessels didn’t matter.
If you’ve reached this paragraph and are feeling uncomfortable, then maybe you’re at a discovery point. You’re balancing on a fulcrum and can go either way. I’d like to suggest walking through the door and asking for help. If you’d like to talk, contact me. I’ve been where you are. I understand how you feel.
Transformation is a process, and as life happens there are tons of ups and downs. It’s a journey of discovery – there are moments on mountaintops and moments in deep valleys of despair.
~ Rick Warren