The fine line between belief and denial

It’s incredible to me, when I read through my volumes of journals knowing what I know now. . .

. . . how is it possible that I could have been so very, very blind?

Maybe I was distracted.

By the time Dave went to rehab, I’d been raising babies for a decade.

Four kids in seven years: pregnant and recovering from childbirth for more than three of those years. I was exhausted and just trying to survive.

With packing and unpacking and searching for new places, a dozen moves had consumed three years at the very least.

Dave was a youth pastor and a coach in addition to his teaching job until we moved to Washington. When he wasn’t working, he was sick.

And I was juggling a part-time job for three years along with the children and being Dave’s wife.

Add normal everyday life to all of this busyness & there’s no time to really look at your life.

But if there’s no time to look at your life, there’s also no time to feel the pain.

The busier, the better. For my own sanity.

Because there were things I couldn’t fix.

* * * * *

I saw Jellenik’s chart of the downward spiral of addiction when I was taking a health class in college. Probably was even tested on it. But the next time I really looked at it was when Dave brought it home from rehab.

Open my journals from those years to any page and you’d see my confusion over dishonesty, my anger about missing money, distrust of Dave’s apologies, increases in his dependence on pain medication, failed promises and resolutions, work problems, deterioration of relationships, unreasonable resentments, grandiose behavior, persistent remorse, impaired thinking, and even a geographical escape attempt.

So, so many signs.

* * * * *

It’s funny. This pattern I’ve gotten into. Even still.

If there’s something I don’t want to deal with — cleaning toilets, paying the bills, missing my family, feeling sad about the kids growing up so fast — I get really busy with something else.

The problem is, when you’re so busy, you miss the signs.

And it takes a crash to get you to notice.

And sometimes it takes more than one.

One thought on “The fine line between belief and denial

  1. This is so insightful. Oh, crud, now I need to go see if I’m spiraling. (Just kidding … well, sort of.) Anyway, it does make sense. Having kids makes you so busy. They are so wonderful, the best gift from God, but as I said to a friend recently, getting pregnant is like a getting a semi-debilitating disease of the mind and body that doesn’t go into remission until a cure comes into play called kindergarten. I know to some that sounds terrible, but I’m kind of kidding. (KIND OF, I guess you have to know me …) Anyway, all that to say that it makes a lot of sense that being busy with your children and all the activities that come into play thereof is a very normal thing. It’s easy to miss a lot — including stopping long enough to watch them grow! So it’s understandable that you turned away from the signs you might feel like (in hindsight) you should have seen.

    Your honesty is really inspiring, and I think it makes me wonder what signs I’m missing in my own life right now because I’m making myself busy with other things.

    Like

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