Recovery: What Knot to Do


Have you ever ignored a seemingly small issue, and the next thing you knew it had gotten completely out of control?

Recently, this happened to me in a rather unexpected way.

I was brushing my hair a few weeks ago, and I hit a snag. This snag turned out to be a tight, stubborn little knot near the middle of a section of my hair. I couldn’t see it at first; in fact, I almost couldn’t find it at all – it was well covered up beneath a good amount of hair. But I could feel it as I continued to brush, and it was clearly not going to budge.

After a while, I decided to call it a day.  I arranged my hair to cover up the knot, put my brush away, and went to bed.

The next morning, I didn’t think at all about the knot when I woke up. I took a shower, hastily threw my hair in a ponytail, and went to work. A few times throughout the day, though, I remembered the knot. “I should really deal with that today,” I told myself.

But when I got home, I made excuses.

I’m tired.

It’s not that bad.

It’ll be painful to try to fix that now.

I’ll take care of it tomorrow.

It’ll work itself out.

This continued for the remainder of the week.

A few days later, I was sitting at my desk running my fingers through my hair when I felt something. Something big.

I grabbed my phone and turned it to selfie-mode so I could see myself.

Lifting the front section of my hair to reveal the underside, I was shocked by what I saw. It was what can only be described as a big, fuzzy, monstrosity of a dreadlock.  

Quite unbeknownst to me, the once tiny knot had spread and grown and morphed into something rather unmanageable.

When I got home that day, I attacked the chunk of tough, tangled hair with all the might I could muster. I combed and combed and brushed and brushed as thoroughly and as diligently as I could, losing much hair in the process.

But each time I felt like I was making headway, I would find another knot, another entanglement.

Eventually, I realized it was no use. The only way to get the thing out was to remove the source of it all… quite literally.

I grabbed a pair of scissors, and…. chop.

 It’s normal to want to ignore or hide our addictions, obsessions, temptations – issues we wish would just go away on their own. But the truth is, the initial ease of hiding usually ends up costing us big time later on.

The only way to begin to heal from our struggles with substance abuse, disordered eating, pornography, or the like is to face them head on – to open our hearts and arms to accountability as we drag our sources of shame into the light.

It won’t be comfortable; in fact, it’ll likely be scary, awkward, and maybe even downright painful.

But our courage to come out of hiding might just be the thing that saves us in the end.