The opposite of acceptance is denial. The oft repeated, “There is nothing wrong with me.” Doesn’t help. Here is the problem. If I cut my leg and I am bleeding all over the ground, it is obvious something is wrong with me. If I cut my soul or scream inside without opening my mouth, no one need to know, not even me. The pain is still there. Ignoring it doesn’t change the circumstances. There is such thing as scientific neglect. I’m annoyed by something or someone, I ignore it, the person or situation go away, sometimes that works. However, I break a leg, don’t have it set, the bone heals crooked, in order to heal the bone correctly, the bone must be re-broken and reset but now there is a lot more damage. Denial only causes increasing levels of damage.
One of the statistics that is being challenged is the possibility that some of the soldiers that are being diagnosed with PTSD already had it. Soldiers tested for PTSD but never been in combat, showing symptoms of PTSD. 9/11 brought up a heightened awareness of PTSD, more people were diagnosed, but for some did they already have it? I spent years with nightmares I didn’t remember. Not every person with bad dreams has PTSD. I spent years hyper-alert, doesn’t every mother with toddlers need to be hyper-alert? I spent years easily startled, I must be the nervous type, right? Insomnia is fairly common, they have commercials for sleep aides so, not being able to sleep is ‘normal’, isn’t it? I heard it when I was young, if you just have enough faith, you can do anything…then I must be lacking in faith. I never told anyone all these symptoms at the same time until after I was in counseling for my marriage. A doctor or counselor can’t diagnosis an illness if they don’t know the symptoms. From the time I was small, all of my symptoms were explained away by my parents. They still deny the seriousness of what I live with every day. As long as I denied something was wrong with me, I couldn’t get help. Denying did NOT stop the symptoms, did NOT teach me coping skills, did NOT improve my life. When I stopped running away from myself and my problems, is when I found hope. Denial is like digging a deeper and deeper hole to bury myself in. I stopped digging when I accepted that there was something wrong and I needed to stop ignoring myself. I needed to find answers. I needed to take back my life. The first step to healing is to stop denying there is a problem.
This mine shaft was dug deep enough to drop the Empire State building and lose it. Stop digging a deeper hole.