To most of us this should be clear without an explanation being necessary but to others the feeling of denial only protects themselves. When we refuse to close the door to grieving then we leave our love ones in a permanent state of lost as well. Although grieving is a highly personal state in which we need to take a personal line of attack it does matter when we cover it in denial and stay in a permanent state of unawareness to the effect that our grieving has on others.
The longer we choose to stay in the state of denial the longer we make up excuses as to our own lack of activity in the responsible life that we should be living. We use it as an excuse as to why we have been unable to do the things that our loved ones have come to expect of us. Other times people will keep themselves so busy so that they do not have to deal with it and this will usually show up later in a form of ill health or exhaustion.
No one starts out for instance, to make an alcoholic or drug user out of their children and grand children but going into denial will many times do just that, as well. Why we find it so hard to seek professional help for grieving is beyond me. We grieve the loss of our first love,a pet, our jobs, our health, and a loved one and think we need to do it all in silence or make it the problem of a loved one rather than admit we may need professional help.
It is a very vulnerable time of our life and a time more than ever that we need to be aware of our feelings as well as our instincts. Instead too many people become familiar with sympathy and wear it like a comfortable pair of shoes or a badge of honor. Many times family members will even brag about which member had life the worse. All become convinced that to have a rotten life is some kind of strength of character rather than realize that the great majority of families strive to be successful without giving control to the pain that all of us will and do suffer. These families will see success in the amount of sympathy that they can evoke while still denying the legacy that they inherited or passed on to their families as a result of their need to gain sympathy.
Sympathy in the beginning weeks is important to our own well being but the longer we stay in the cloak of it then the weaker it will make our determination to move ahead with our lives. People can get use to having things go wrong to the point that when they do turn around and start going right it becomes almost frightening to them. Getting back to a routine without their loved ones in many cases feels as though they are rejecting the life they once knew.
It is very common to turn to drugs and alcohol at times of trauma and grief and in doing so we prevent grieving from moving forward. Instead of going through the 5 steps necessary to complete the cycle of grief we instead remain caught somewhere in the middle. If it is the anger or depression state that we remain in then there will not be a loved one around us that does not get hurt. Alcohol and drugs are not innocent past times that only hurt us, no matter who we think we are trying to convince. They hurt everyone around us in a much worse way than they will ever hurt ourselves.
Too many people learn to numb themselves with sleeping pills,anti-depressants or alcohol and remain in the permanent state of indifference or numbness and never deal effectively with the pain. This may be necessary if we are of normal mental health and in shock to get over a traumatic situation initially, but it is when people become reliant on the drugs and keep increasing the dosages that they become lost on the path to recovery. Any kind of abuse of both alcohol and prescription and street drugs leaves us in a permanent state of denial and with an unwillingness to deal with the truth or the reality of what we are doing to both ourselves as well as our loved ones.
They instead teach the next generations that the way to deal with trauma is to self medicate so that generations after generations passes the same lesson on to their children. If people knew that drug addicts as well as alcoholics are no different in behavior as they advance than people that inherit psychosis and actually do become psychotic would they then also wish to teach this behavior to their children?
Many drinkers and drug addicts do become psychotic and denial even without drugs and alcohol does lead to delutional thinking and withdrawal from the people in our lives that can help. Unfortunately, those are also the first to be driven away as many people will choose those that offer continual sympathy, excuses, and an opportunity to have a drink over the people that do want to help us heal.
Anytime that we refuse to deal with our own lack of happiness and visit our bitterness instead on others, many people other than ourselves, will pay the ultimate price of our refusal to deal with the reality of our lives. In my lay person estimation, denial, when it becomes permanent, is the ultimate of selfish behavior especially when people do have knowledge that they are lieing to themselves along with everyone else and choose to do so anyway.