Several days ago I began this series as an addendum or in follow up to an article that I wrote, Living with a Disability — Go and Make it a Good Day. I began this series because in my experience I found that I could not begin to Go and Make it a Good Day until I addressed what kept me from being able to Go and Make it a Good Day. Per your information, each part of the series builds upon the previous parts of the series and each part of the series is connected to the series as a whole.
That is why I suggest that each of the previous parts be read for context.
I hope you are benefiting from my experience, strength and hope. Please let me know if the content of the series is helping you. Thank you.
Hello and welcome back to Second Chance to Live. I am happy to see that you decided to stop by to visit with me. Several days ago I introduced an article to you, What Empowers me to Go and Make it a Good Day. I did so after receiving an email and a comment to the article I wrote, Living with a Disability — Go and Make it a Good Day. In my experience I have benefited from several valuable lessons. I will share those lessons with you through this series of articles.
Before I could begin to thrive and not merely survive in life I needed to move beyond my denial through a grieving process. I needed to examine why I was reacting to life and why — on the inside of me — I believed that I could do nothing but be subservient to my circumstances.
In my search for serenity I found that before I could embrace and accept my reality — and ultimately myself — I needed to face my denial and the denial systems that other people wanted me to buy into — with out questioning their validity. I needed to address my denial and why I thought that I needed to buy into other denial systems before I could stop fighting against myself. I needed to stop fighting against myself so that I could be an actor in my life rather than a reactor to life.
Approximately 11 months ago I wrote a series out lining information that has empowered my ability to Go and Make it a Good Day. Over the next several articles I will share some excerpts from that series. May you be both encouraged and empowered to Go and Make it a Good Day as you read through the following series of articles.
And now for part 2 of the series
Today I want to begin talking about the process of acceptance. Through my process of acceptance I came to a life changing awareness. I found that I could not begin to accept myself and move on with life until I first made peace with the losses that I experienced because of my invisible disability and my traumatic brain injury. In my quest to make peace with those losses I needed to address my sadness. In my experience I could not just “get over it” with out first doing the necessary work.
I needed help to be able to identify and address my sadness and frustration so that I could move beyond my sadness and frustration. I needed to identify what I was experiencing so that I could move beyond what could not be changed.
In my experience I needed to stop avoiding my reality. In Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s book On Death and Dying Elizabeth elaborates on the stages of grieving. In her book she introduces the 5 stages that people go through as they grieve their loss (s). Although her book specifically addresses the loss created by a death, the principles outlined through her book can be applied to any type of loss. In her book, she speaks to five stages. In this series, I apply those stages to my acceptance process.
The first of these 5 stages is denial. Denial is a defense mechanism that protects the individual from having to confront the shock of their loss. Denial manifests itself in various ways. I have heard denial explained as a warm blanket that insulates and shields the individual from having to face their reality. Denial can also be used as a door to shut out, that which is just too painful to address. Denial can also be used to ignore and avoid what we do not want to confront.
Denial can be used to erect a dam to hold back unwanted memories and emotional pain. Denial can be used to suppress body memories. Denial can be used as a disconnect, so that our heart’s won’t let our head’s know what is or what has happened. Denial can also be used to defend, answer and explain away behaviors that undermine our well beings. Denial can also be used to dismiss or invalidate another person’s pain or reality in order to avoid having to interpret or address uncomfortable feelings.
Please read Part 3 for context. Thank you.
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