Welcome…Relax… Stay Awhile “Denial vs. Reality”
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Life is in Session…
Are You Present?
My personal life journey has lead me through roughwaters . . . the terminal illness of a child . . . the homocide of my 21 year old brother, and other unexpected tragedies. For this reason, I can relate to your darkest hours of grief, despair and depression. Little can prepare us for the times when the dark side of life thrusts us onto an unexpected course.
As a therapist, my career lead me to challenging paths, offering fascinating experiences in the entertainment industry while appearing on national talk shows. Working with celebrities in my private practice revealed the world of stardom, fame or fortune provides no immunity from emotional pain.
As a result, I can relate to your dreams, your goals, and your successes. And in the tapestry of our lives, weaves the common thread of heartache, allowing me to share in your darkest hours of despair.
One thing I have learned . . . whether you suffer from a broken heart or a wounded soul, you sit in the audience or stand on the stage, the sooner you heal, the sooner you will smile again.
Denial vs. Reality
Denial is what keeps us trapped in our emotional torment.
Denial can and will change the course of your life. I offer two ‘rules’ about denial for you to think about. And what might happen if you don’t.
1. Don’t Deny Reality (short story about ‘denial’ below)
2. Never, never, never give up.
I encourage you to think about the ‘journey of your life’ and the changes you might want to make. What do you want? What do you need? If you could change only one thing about your life, what would it be? My goal is to help you discover more of who you are, and what roadblocks might be in your way of living a more fulfilling life.
Millions of people suffer from emotional distress in silence, denying they have a problem, and doubting they can be helped. No matter how severe your situation is right now, please accept these two truths:
Two Truths . . .
1. You don’t have to go through emotional distress alone.
2. Professional help is available.
The Journey of Your Life . . . So Far.
What’s going on in your life right now? No matter what you are going through or how serious your situation, it helps to know we all face problems and challenges in life. The list below gives a sampling of what most of us have experienced or will experience during our life journey:
- We all get depressed from time to time.
- We all get angry once in a while.
- We can’t love without the risk of heartbreak.
- We often wonder if we’re codependent.
- Parents are concerned about their teenagers.
- We wonder if we’ll ever be able to forgive.
- The sting of guilt can linger for years.
- It’s common to wonder where we’re going in life.
- In these times, finances and job concerns are paramount.
All of these problems are common. Most of us have experienced the ups and downs of life and wonder about the meaning of our lives from time to time. Some of us have endured tragedies, some have had to cope with serious illnesses, and others have spent a lifetime recovering from dysfunctional childhoods. But is it the problem itself that creates havoc in our lives, or how we think, feel, and react to the problem? Do we deny or do we face reality?
Denial . . . Lost at Sea
There are negative consequences when we get “stuck” in our problems. Denying and running away from solutions and new choices only prolongs the problems and often makes it worse. Below are a few consequences of denial:
- Build up of toxic anger
- We stay stuck in unforgiveness
- We feel powerless and helpless
- We lose personal power to problem solve
- We may feel like a victim
- We remain in unhealthy relationships
- We are consumed with guilt
- We blame others
- We suffer from “spinning my wheels” syndrome
- We don’t take responsibility
- Health risks
Key: Don’t Deny the Problem. When we pretend we don’t have a problem (denial), thinking maybe “it will just go away,” life usually becomes more complicated. The next problem that comes into your life then has a thick ‘layer’ of unresolved emotions and lessons unlearned. Below are a few common problems people often attempt to deny:
- Job Problems
- Teen Problems
- Lack of Boundaries
- Low Self Esteem
- Anger Issues
- Marriage & Relationship Problems
- Unexpected Life Changes
- Emotional Pain
- Codependent Issues
- Guilt Issues
- Forgiveness Issues
- And the problem where you “hit rock bottom” . . . Addictions.
A Short Story . . . The Story of Denial.
Here’s how I see this journey we call life. Imagine we’re all on one big cruise ship together. We all plan on having a great time. When you were packing for the trip, you didn’t say to yourself “Gee, I hope I have a miserable time.” You expected to have a wonderful adventure, enjoy yourself, sailing along, dancing, meeting interesting people, making friends, and eating exotic foods.
On board ship and out to sea, you relax on deck in a soft lounge chair. After you settle back, you notice others around you appear anxious. The once sunny skies are now covered with dark, threatening clouds. Suddenly, the ships rocking forces the chairs on deck to scatter.
You pop up from your lounge and rearrange the deck chairs. You sit back down, relax, determined not to allow anything to interfere with your enjoying the cool ocean breezes sweeping across your skin.
But something interrupts your journey. On the way to your destination, the ship gets stuck. You are surprised by this sudden turn of events. You notice a few people on board start to panic, some stay calm, some ignore the problem, some let others handle the problem, some sleep right through the problem, and the couple sitting next to you order another round of Rum Punch for everyone. The strong gyrations of the ship concern you, but you dismiss your thoughts and assure yourself the Captain will handle this annoyance soon.
In the distance, you hear loud voices. The Captain’s voice overhead gives commands and directions to the life boats. People begin stammering all around you. Why are these people over reacting? It’s just a simple problem, you think. The Captain will have it under control in no time. Besides, nothing is going to disturb your journey.
You notice several people now wearing life jackets. You wonder why. The ship’s rocking becomes violent, but you slip into “the zone” after sipping on your fourth Long Island Iced Tea, mixed with twelve different alcohols. You trust the Captain will have everything under control shortly. You take one last sip of your tall drink, and dream about rendezvousing with a tanned, tall, fantasy person from Ipanema, whom you believe is strolling on the exotic beach awaiting your arrival. Suddenly, you are violently thrown from your deck chair. What’s this? The ship is starting to sink? It can’t be, you think. How can this happen without warning?
You look around and see a few other people frantically trying to rearrange the deck chairs. After helping them, you slide to the edge of the ships railing, and hang on for your life. You see others piling into life boats. You wonder ‘What happened to the Captain who was supposed to save my life in situations like this? Where is he anyway?”
Icy terror runs through your veins. You wonder how you’re going to save your own life. The deck chairs have piled up and you feel guilty you can’t keep them in order. You can’t even find an extra life jacket. You honestly believed attendance at the mandatory life boat drill was voluntary.
Someone shouts “Over here! We need life rafts over here!” You spot one tangled, gold, life jacket twisted around the ships railings. You struggle to get yourself near it, but the steep angle and rocking of the ship are too strong, tossing you back and forth like a flapping catfish just hooked.
Deck chairs tumble by you in a downward spiral. For a moment, you convince yourself the situation might get better. It can’t be as bad as it seems. Perhaps you could rearrange the deck chairs one more time. Stark, cold reality hits, however, when the sharp edge of a steel pole hits you in the head. You have a sudden insight: “I’m in trouble.” The Captain’s voice howls “All remaining passenger’s still on board jump to the life boats!” You wonder, “Where are the life boats again?”
Your Life . . . Your Reality.
Does your life ever feel like a lost or sinking ship at sea? All of us get tossed about on rough waters from time to time. It’s comforting to know that others have faced what seemed to be unsurmountable trials and survived the journey.
Our lives may have a lot in common . . .
- We’ll have some good times, and not so good times.
- We’ll laugh and we’ll cry.
- We’ll be hurt and we’ll hurt others.
- We’ll love and we’ll experience heartbreak.
- We’ll wonder what life is all about at times.
- We’ll be treated unfairly.
- We’ll be given grace we don’t deserve.
- We’ll lose someone we love, never to see them again.
- We’ll wonder how life can be so unfair.
- We’ll think we will never smile again.
No matter what course your life takes, you will have choices to make on the journey . . . Some will be important, and some will save your life.
Happy Ending to Your Cruise Journey
Good news. You saved your life. It was a close call, but you did it . . . by yourself. You vowed next time you will do things differently. You made a list of items to remember for future trips:
- Stay Alert.
- Be Prepared.
- Obey the Rules.
- Listen to the Instructions.
- Follow the Instructions.
- Recognize When You Are in Trouble.
- Ask for Help.
- Learn the Lessons of Every Side Trip.
- Don’t Deny Reality.
- If it feels like a sinking ship, it probably is.
- Heed the Warning Signs of Trouble Ahead.
- And last . . . Listen for the Captain’s voice.
Denying reality keeps you stuck in life. You may be having difficulty dealing with some of the hard facts and realities of your life right now. If you are struggling with anger, guilt, unforgiveness, codependency or relationship issues, or if you are depressed or suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) you may want to schedule an appointment with Dr. Lynne to obtain objective and professional support for the current problems you are facing. There is hope and there is help. You don’t need to suffer another day. Never give up. Never.
Can EMDR Help?
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing), is a powerful and often rapid therapeutic technique, and can be used by a trained EMDR therapist to help you effectively deal with a wide variety of emotional issues, as well as anger, guilt and disturbing memories which you believe prevent you from having a more fulfilling life. EMDR is a breakthrough technique for dealing with many emotional issues. You will find information on EMDR on this website.
Dr. Logan is an EMDR Certified Therapist by EMDRIA.
When we become aware that we do not have to escape our pains, but that we can mobilize them into a common search for life, those very pains are transformed from expressions of despair into signs of hope. Henri Nouwen
Postitive Realities to Emotional Pain…
When we are faced with severe problems or tragedies of which we have no control of in our life, we often wonder how we will ever survive or have a normal life again. Just like physical pain forces us to look at the problem immediately for a solution, emotional pain can lead us to a more positive life. After an unexpected trauma, or one that happened because of denying a problem too long . . . in the end, there is always hope. Below are a few positive aspects of emotional pain:
- Pain always forces us to change.
- Pain motivates us to move forward.
- Pain prompts us to change something not working in our life.
- Pain allows us to learn new lessons.
- Pain offers us new possibilities for our life.
- Pain challenges us to think differently.
- Pain increases our compassion for others.
- Pain pushes us to grow.
- Painful memories remind us not to get on the same ship again.