BY SHADAN KAPRI
As a little girl, Sara witnesses first-hand the devasta¬tion of drug abuse. She watched as her parents self-medicated with an array of prescription drugs and alco¬hol. Her loving father, once a hard-working man, be¬came cruel and merciless when drunk. Her parents, teachers, and even family members “overlooked” the problems until he lost his job and their family home.
The obvious reality is that people hide from their prob¬lems every day. People hide behind a facade of lies. They hide behind their possessions, their denial, and most commonly they numb the pain. They hide by cov¬ering up addiction, anger, blame, and self-doubt.
Our court system is full of individuals whose addiction problems become societal problems. This happens in communities every day, including Colville, and across the world.
The power of hiding problems is fueled most strongly by denial. It can be a learned behavior that starts early in childhood and continues throughout a lifetime. It can create a path of emotional and physical abuse that adds to the carnage like gasoline to a fire.
Yet, ironically, many are not willing to recognize or ad¬mit the truth even to themselves. By hiding and cover¬ing up their problems, the denial creates even bigger ones. Deep-seated childhood hurt and trauma turns into daily drinking that manifests through a DUI. The habit of turning to food at times of stress turns into life-threatening cardiac problems and early death.
Drug abuse fuels domestic violence that leads to dam¬age for generations to come. After continuous denial, these problem morph into a larger ones that can be harmful to themselves and society at-large.
Yet, past habits don’t dictate future events.
By speaking the truth, especially in the most difficult areas of life, people learn that their painful past does not define their future. Neither do the shadows that haunt them. And no amount of hiding or denial will make it all go away.
The greatest and most powerful truth is that each of us has the inherent capacity to change, but the first step is to stop hiding and making excuses, especially for the ones we love the most. The first step is to accept the problem and move on with the goal of healing those hid¬den wounds. At some point, people realize that no mat¬ter how many times they say, “I am fine,” deep within themselves, the problems still linger, and the only per¬son they are truly lying to is themselves.
Even in childhood, people are often labeled incorrectly early on. ‘Steve’ is the class clown. ‘Bobby’ is the lazy one. ‘Sherry’ is shy. Yet, those labels can stay with some for a lifetime, altering their destiny and the course of their actions. Many believe those labels as the truth. Some are given benevolent labels. Still others are given labels that can be self-limiting and sometimes even de¬structive.
Yet, the heroes of our society, those who make the greatest impact, are not celebrities or athletes. It’s par¬ents who realize and teach every child that he/she is more than the collection of labels or lies that are be¬stowed to them (now and throughout a lifetime).
There is an old Russian proverb that states, “he buries gold who hides the truth.” Each person has a world full of potential, but in order to even have the chance to ful¬fill that potential, each individual has to realize that to hide from their problems, to cover them up, means to lose to that problem, every single time.
It’s only when we are willing to reveal the truth and shine a light on challenges, both societal and personal, can we then create an environment of solutions for our¬selves and generations to come.
Sometimes the greatest lies people tell themselves are the ones that get in the way of their own healing. So what is the benefit of hiding?