Defenses are behaviors we use to cover up or avoid uncomfortable feelings; hiding them from others, and worse yet…from ourselves. Common defenses include suppressing, blaming, rationalizing, or even just hiding behind a smile.
Denial is one of our most common defenses. In the case of a loved one struggling with a life controlling addiction problem, we demonstrate denial when we feel the need to protect or cover up their behavior. Sometimes we struggle with our own problems but deny them even to ourselves…or we underestimate their gravity and the damage they cause to others and ourselves. A big cause for denial is the belief that our denial will keep our loved ones or ourselves “safe.” In reality, denial shuts down problem-recognition, assessment, and the identification and implementation of the necessary solutions. You see, denial only leads to more problems because it is distorted thinking that leads only to destruction and helplessness.
One of the main reasons we develop dysfunctional defenses is our lack of confidence in, and our inability to handle discomfort. Some of the most common negative feelings you may experience include anger, anxiety, jealousy, sadness, fear, guilt, feeling overwhelmed, lonely, and shame. Are you struggling with any of these feelings or similar ones? Are you smiling your way through each day while the struggle inside you rages? These negative feelings aren’t sins, but they are uncomfortable.
Amazingly, The Bible is THE book about why we are in pain and what God has provided to ease and melt away our pain. God’s Word frequently promises and instructs that He and His peace are always available as shown in the many biographies revealed to us in scripture.
Today, return to the place of honestly acknowledging your true feelings and dealing with them like an adult should. Your first step out of the struggle is to admit the feelings to yourself, to God, and to others you know you can trust. No Pain, No Gain. God will provide and equip. Act as if these 2 statements are true…and see miraculous growth happen for you…and for your relationship with God. Only then can you begin the road out of the cover-up and into recovery. Your decision, so choose well.
Article taken from Stepping Stones Helpline. http://www.lighthousenetwork.org/content/
Crossroads Counseling supports the Celebrate Recovery program which meets on Wednesdays at 7. It is a Christian 12 step program that helps people overcome the “hurts, habits and hangups” that happen when addiction and other life difficulties occur. All are welcome!
At Crossroads we have counselors who are trained to support those in recovery as well as help family members overcome the difficulties of the effects of addiction on the family. Call today for an appointment.