Health Magazine

Denial: Dealing with the Symptoms But Not the Problem!

By Sobrfit3
Written By:  Cathy Shuba
"Happy Monday!"
When I have a headache I take some aspirin.  When I have pain I take some ibuprofen.  When my muscles are tight I stretch.  When I can't sleep I drink some of my chamomile tea.  When I have an upset stomach I take some Pepto Bismal.  When I was drunk I would eventually pass out.  When I was angry I would take it out on someone else.  When I was sad I would play victim.  When I was uncomfortable in my own skin I would find someone to control.  When I was craving drama I would create chaos.  The list could go on.  When I was drinking the thought of treating my symptoms was only done on the surface.  I never really looked at my drinking as a problem.  I never looked at myself as the problem.  I never looked at the disease as the problem of my thinking, decision making, distorted spiritual outlook and mental well being.  I was in denial of all of these things.  On the other hand, growing up I was taught that if you had a headache take an aspirin.  Not,...well maybe your headache is caused by dehydration and you should drink more water.  Maybe your headache is caused by the stress you endure by seeing your father and I fight or disagree all the time.  Same as when I was drinking and had many "black-outs," many drunken nights, many hangovers, many bad behavior moments, many self will run riot days and mostly many days spent in denial of my disease.  I would blame everyone and everything under the sun in order for me to look at me!  I would rationalize every situation or problem in order for me not to be accountable or responsible in the matter.  I would avoid people places and things in order for me to avoid the real me.  I thought I was dealing with the problem but in reality I was only dealing with the symptoms.  I was like a doctor who really doesn't know what is wrong with you and calls it a "virus!"  Oh, I had many virus's...believe me!  I still can today if I am not honest with myself.  Today, I have been sober for over 18 years and at times can find myself or catch myself denying something in order for me not to deal with the real problem.  I have to ask myself..."What are you doing?"  "Halt!"  Go back to the drawing board and start dealing with the problem and not just the symptom.  Recently, I had to "HALT!" when helping someone else with a situation they were having only to find myself having the same situation that has been going on with me.  I had to "HALT!" during the moment of clarity I had with myself and say that is it, that is what I need to do in order to rid the problem.  Move over symptoms I am dealing with the problem now!  I recovered from my desire and craving from the drink because I dealt with the problem of why I wanted to drink.  If I did not choose to do this during the early years in my sobriety I would still be fighting those urges, desire to drink and craving the drink on a daily basis.  However, the symptoms of my crazy thinking at times never go away and that is why my recovery of the disease will always be never ending!  In other words, if my recovery of dealing with the "SYMPTOMS ONLY!" of not drinking or doing drugs I will then feel the desire, craving and urges to drink again.  I must be aware of the symptoms and not deny them in order to deal with the real problem or problems that are going on in my life!  However, my thinking is nothing like it was when I first got sober.  My thinking, which I look at it as my symptoms of the disease, are like a headache that lets me know when I need to go back to the drawing board in order for me to dissect it and find out why the problem of a situation has come to my attention.  This allows me to deal with the problem and not just the symptom.  For instance, is it because I am angry, impulsive, stubborn, sad, lonely, full of fear, insecure and it can go on.  Even though I am sober today does not mean my symptoms of the stink'n think'n is gone too.  It is part of the is part of me.  I needed to learn why the symptoms come and how to deal with the problem in order to keep me sober spiritually, mentally and physically!  Today I deal with the problem and allow myself to see the symptoms.  I no longer deny my symptoms!  Do you find yourself just dealing with the symptoms of the disease?  If so, try writing things down to help you understand why you do.  For me the big factor as to why I just dealt with the symptoms was caused by fear and denial!  Today, I will run knowing I am aware of my symptoms and know I can deal with any problem that comes my way!  I will run with no problem!
Creative Commons License
Sobriety Fitness by Cathy Shuba is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog