Do you know someone who seems to have it all? The person who appears to be living an amazing life on the outside, but in reality their life is conflict-ridden and dysfunctional on the inside. Many people are really good at maintaining the facade and not allowing others to see the turmoil they live in. Unfortunately, they've decided that holding it inside and living a double life works for them. They have an incredible career, live in a beautiful home, have all the toys one could ever imagine, and maybe even appear to have the perfect family, yet their life is crumbling and they are about to implode. And eventually they can't hold it together any longer and self-destruct. Sometimes they truly are living a double life which may involve a relationship(s) outside the marriage, hidden business ventures and/or secretive activities that consume time and money. People are shocked when they find out that this person has been living a lie and their perceptions are completely different from reality. Could this be a mid-life crisis or rebellious action? Or does this person thrive on never-ending stimulation, challenge, and adrenalin?
Often people in this position are powerful, successful, and have achieved a high status that has distorted their perception of themselves or the life they have. In some cases, they feel entitled to have whatever they want even if it destroys relationships and lives. Living a success-driven life can be difficult and feeling the pressure to always make good choices and decisions can be overwhelming, especially if you don't feel a need to lean on others. In some cases, these individuals have taken care of and met everyone else's needs for a long time which may lead to resentment and detachment. Often their self destructive behaviors are directly related to rebellion and defiance. Sometimes it has more to do with them having lost themselves and their need to seek a new identity. Regardless of the factors that contributed to their behaviors, the consequences are devastating to those in the wake of their destruction. Is there any hope that these people can become aware and make changes?
Of course awareness and ownership is necessary for change to occur. While sadly these individuals often prefer to blame others and avoid responsibility for their actions and decisions, there are those who seek to understand their choices and seek personal healing and growth. It is so important for those who desire to change to have an accountability person who will call them out on their bad choices and require them to be transparent. They will also need help to figure out what void they are attempting to fill and what is at the root of their insecurities. Their personality type may contribute to their decision-making and modifying their thoughts, attitude, and actions will take some effort, but is doable. Finding healthy and appropriate outlets for dealing with stress, conflict, and negative emotions will be especially helpful. Also, instead of compartmentalizing feelings and avoiding conflict, learning to talk it out and working through it is very important. If you recognize yourself in these words and you want to change, I encourage you to acknowledge your brokenness, accept help from others, and if necessary rely on professional counsel to work out your inner turmoil.