Sunday, April 17, 2016

A Life of Denial

     We all have ways in which we cope with the not-so-pleasant circumstances in life.

     You may show all of your emotions and lash out at the people nearest to you; crawl away in a corner and silently sob by yourself; blame other people for your misfortunes and walk away not feeling guilty; or deny that the event ever happened in the first place. I tend to be the later one.

     Although this first year of college has been absolutely amazing, filled with so many wonderful opportunities and brand new relationships, it hasn't been easy. There have been many difficult circumstances that seemed to have hit me out of nowhere. I have attempted to bring some of those to light on this blog, but it is hard to know how vulnerable to be on the internet.

One common theme that I have noticed is how I handle hard situations. I live in denial.

     My grandpa died on December 5th, 2015. That is a fact. I can process that.

     What I have a hard time processing are the implications of what that really means.... What does that mean? Even now as I write I have to stop typing letters on the screen and think. I will never see him again. I will never feel his arms wrap me in a strong bear hug. Right before I moved to Indiana, he told me that I better watch out for all the northern boys who would like his "southern belle". It makes me smile now just thinking of that, a sad smile.

     My family is thinking about traveling back down to my grandparent's house during the summer, and a large part of me doesn't want to go. The house will be more empty without him. It will probably still smell like him, but he won't be there. It won't be right.

     You know, the last and only time I wrote about his passing was the day he died. I thought that writing the words on the page would help, and it did. But you can't just write something once and think that it magically makes the hurt go away! That's not how grief works. I haven't had the time to grieve. I've been very preoccupied at college,

     It's not like college has been an emotional breeze either. At the very end of January, one of my closest friends contemplated suicide to the point of actually standing on the cliff. As I write that out, I scoff as I think back to how much that affected me. I wasn't actually involved to a great extent. Yet, the stress of that day, and the days before that, twisted my emotions in ways I never believed I could feel.

     Even now I catch myself trying to dismiss both of those bad memories as terrible dreams. "It seems like a nightmare. I didn't actually happen to me. It seems like something out of a dramatic book or movie." Every time I have to remind myself that it did happen. It is now a part of my life's story.

And that's alright.

     You see, denial never gets us anywhere. We just keep going around and around the circle of remembering and hiding the truth of reality. Believe me, it never really goes away. It just keeps playing hide-and-go-seek, popping out at the most random times. A life of denial is a life of creating lies.

     These unfortunate circumstances are a part of us now. They can never go away. They are weaved into the intricate nature of who we are. God knows this. In fact, He used them or is using them now to make us more like Him. When I do look back, I can see how He taught me important lessons in such a quick time frame that I would have never learned if my life was free from depressing emotions! His plan involves some not-so-great things so that we can grow, and we can see Him better. We realize how much we need His love and guidance when we realize how pathetic our own strength is. That's how we deal with the bad. We ask Him to help us with it, instead of living in denial.