Coming out of denial is one of the toughest things that I’ve went through in my life.
What do I mean by coming out of denial?
I mean looking at the problems you have and admitting that you have a problem. It’s being willing to work on the solution at the same time.
I’ve had a lot of problems in my life. For example, I had a relationship that wasn’t good. If you asked me about the relationship, I’d say everything’s fine. I was talking to the cashier today and she asked how I was doing and I said good. Coming out of denial is having that willingness to say when things aren’t good.
Several people have said my videos have been useful for getting through relationship problems. I’m honored to be there to help you with something that is really difficult. For me, some of the most painful times of my life have been getting through a break up. I’m lucky I had so many people there to help me. I’m doing everything I can to pay it forward and the denial part of anything like that can be bad. You can have people asking you how things are going and if you say not good or tell the truth about your negative thoughts the responses you get are questions. That often promotes denial in all aspects of life. If you’re getting over weight problems and people start asking you, you end up denying how you feel and using anything you can to minimize or downplay how you really feel.
I’m not telling you how to live your life because I can barely figure out how to live mine. I’m trying to do my best to communicate in a way that makes sense. To me understanding denial has been the key to overcoming it.
What is denial and how do I know when I’m in denial about something?
For example, I got into live streaming last year and I got in denial about how that was impacting my life. I got way carried away with how often I was streaming. I put a lot of energy and time I was putting into it given that I had a newborn baby and a business to run. I said that everything’s fine, there’s nothing wrong with what I’m doing.
My brother called becuase our mom had fallen off her horse and I didn’t answer the phone because I was live streaming. I felt like I was doing something important. I felt like people needed my live stream which, of course, is ridiculous. It was an ego thing that made me feel like I was an important person. When my brother said that, it brought me out of denial.
Before that I was going around thinking live streaming was important. I was getting an attitude about it. When my brother said how can you do that when I needed you. How could you not answer the phone? It brought me out of denial. I could see what I was doing in context. I could see that I was doing something that wasn’t good for me or for the people that love me. Then I could see I’ve got a problem here. I’m doing something that’s not healthy for me. I’m doing something that’s causing problems in my life.
When you’ve got a business that depends on you and a newborn baby, live streaming is unhealthy. You could look at it as a minor thing, but my work was heading downhill and it was effecting my relationships. When I was willing to come out of that denial, I was willing to solve the problem.
I was willing to work on the problem. I could see I needed to do something different with my live streaming. I stopped live streaming at that point and that’s why you see my videos are pre-recorded.
Denial is hard to get through. When you’re in denial, you’re doing something that’s bad for you and other people. You’re doing something that’s hurtful and sucking the life out of you. I had quite an alcohol problem and if I don’t do anything about it I continue interacting with it.
People would say that I should stop drinking and I would say no, I shouldn’t. I don’t have a problem, I’m fine. That was denial and that took 8.5 years from the time I knew I had a bit of a problem to the time I actually was willing to work on it.
That is a hell of a price to pay. That is a hell of a lot of work. Since I got out of denial, I’ve got to work on my drinking problem. I work on it every single day because it’s one of the biggest problems I have. That’s me personally. Everyone else gets dealt a different set of problems. Denial was tough for that problem.
I see today that denial is the first step in every single problem. I’ve been grateful to experience a lot of growth and the first month my sales went down, I went straight to denial. I didn’t do anything to look at what I’m doing or what I did that contributed to that or what I could do better. I went to immediate defensiveness.
Denial can be powerful in relationships. For example, about 10 years ago, I tried to court this girl from work . I could see she was in an abusive relationship. She told me on one of the bad days she would tell me all the things that were going on. The next week she would be saying I think things will work out. I could see she was in denial, but that doesn’t matter. She had to see it for herself.
Denial is easy for everyone else to see. She didn’t have to see anything. Denial is easy for everyone else to see. Everyone else can almost immediately see everyone else’s problems. The key for me is can I see my own problems. Am I willing to look at the things I’m doing wrong or the things I can improve on? Am I willing to see the areas where what I’m doing is not what I need to be doing or what I’m doing is not in everyone’s best interest. I am willing to look at what I’m doing today because denial is a perfectly logical thing to do.
What do you do when you ask someone how they’re doing and they say I’m having a really bad day? You would immediately wish you hadn’t asked the question to start with. That’s how it works on a collective basis.
I’ve done that with myself. I ask myself how I’m doing today to assess whether I’m having any problems. It is reasonable in the sense that denial protects us from pain. When I admitted I had a drinking problem it was painful because I saw how long I had that problem. I wished I had done something about it before. Now, I’m actually able to do something about it and be aware of it.
That’s the beauty that comes with denial is that you don’t have to go into that pain. You can act like everything is fine and be comfortably miserable wherever you’re at. Denial is completely sensible. What kind of person wants to step into a bunch of pain and suffering?
I had denial as a police officer about my job. I told myself that my job was great, I loved my job. I’ll tell you one of the best days of my life was the day after I stopped being a police officer. It was stressful to be a police officer. I had some deep denial about it and no one could tell me otherwise.
My dad would tell me that I just liked to drink and party. You shouldn’t be a police officer, you should be a bartender. He was right! If you want to drink and party you should just be a bartender. I didn’t want to hear that at all. That denial is hard to deal with because you’re completely helpless.
If you want to get out of denial, the easiest way is to listen to what other people are saying. I had tons of people tell me throughout my life from some of the first times I drank that I shouldn’t drink. All kinds of people told me that. I remember my dad telling me that because he was an alcoholic and he quit when he was 40. He was telling me that maybe you lost your job as a police officer because you’re drinking. Maybe you should think about quitting.
I was convinced that I was never going to quit. I was so deep in denial, I didn’t even want to consider that there might be a possibility on it. I’m guessing from the people I’ve seen that everyone has denial in some aspect of their life. There’s some problem where it’s easier just to not look at it at all then to admit it’s there and do something about it.
When you admit you’re having a problem and you try to do something about it, it’s a lot of work. Whether it is a new job or a relationship. It could even be a place to live. If you have a place to live that you hate, it could be a lot of work.
My wife and I are going through selling our house right now. I just getting started with it and I’ve been in denial for a while. I haven’t even considered up until a couple of months ago that maybe we should move.
I’m grateful that I have the chance to share what I’ve learned about denial here with you today. It helps me to remember that either I’m looking at things or I’m in denial. Those are my only two options because there’s always areas of my life I can improve. I can’t improve them all at once, I can only improve them one at a time. I don’t even realize how many more things I’m in denial about today.
I wrote a book called “Video Game Addiction Stories” and a lot of people say I play a lot of video games. I’m willing to look at it and see if it’s a problem in my life today.
I pray to have an open mind and keep trying to learn about them while focusing on my good qualities also. I talk a lot about all the problems as I have, but most of my life works out pretty well. You can even be in denial about being a good person. You can think you’re such a bad person that you deny that you have any redeeming qualities. There’s so many different ways to go about denial.
I pray today that I’m willing to look at anything in my life. I pray today that wherever I’m in denial, I’m willing to do the work to come out of denial. I’m willing to take a look at every opportunity I have to improve. I pray that by sharing this with you it helps me to remember and it helps you to have all the same opportunities I have today. I appreciate you reading this today and I hope this is useful for you.