Society & Culture
Food for Thought #19 - Denial is not a river in Egypt.
We have all had that moment when we had to make a choice between eating the cookie or not eating the cookie. Or putting the ice cream in a bowl or just eating the whole pint. In a way this is a form of denial. A denial we engage to manage a diet or to challenge our self-control. Either way, it’s a choice you are actively making because you are complicit in the decision and can see the upside of the outcomes of the choice. Personal denial can be a good thing here. When we engage in personal denial like this there is generally a higher outcome we are looking to achieve and in this sense it’s a great thing to be doing. So long as it’s healthy. If it is not healthy then you need to have a look at your measurement of the outcomes you are looking to achieve. As an example, not eating properly, or at all to just loose weight may work in a controlled way but in an uncontrolled way is just an unhealthy option of self denial.
But I am not talking about personal denial when I mention the word denial. I have been know to say that one of my favourite drugs is denial. When I say this, I am talking about the type of denial which falls into the psychological category. The type of denial that when confronted with it you straight deny its existence or skip past the reality of. This is a dangerous mental gambit and one that many of us are subject to. To say you are not in denial about anything is an understatement in my book. But each to their own. I have often been challenged by my own denial of problems and have ran with the scissors for a long time just hoping it will all work out. If anyone where to skate to close to my issues or problems I would find a way to dance around it or bold face lie to them about things. The later was something I did a lifetime ago, but even still, I find myself hiding in a bit of denial every once in a while.
My question around denial really has to do with the fact that there are two versions of psychological denial. The bad version that I just described, and the version where you are active in the use of denial to achieve an outcome. This is why I talk about it like a drug. Mainly because I use denial to my advantage to work in difficult situations, life the life that I live, enter a room full of strangers and strike up conversations, you name it. There is not a moment where I am not using some form of denial to deal with complex situations. Let’s just take the example of walking into a room of strangers and being able to strike up a conversation. To do this I have to leverage denial around other views of me or what I am talking about in order to simply open the door and walk in. I have to leverage denial other ways too. Such as to how I might look or if I have even misread the room and acted in a way that does not work. No matter how I cut it, if I carry that mental baggage in it could possibly stop me from talking or even entering the room or going to the “thing” in the first place.
So what talk about denial in the first place? Well I have been sort of in it a bit of recent. I am just coming to terms with an episode of denial around something that I hold dear and I am now in a place where I am going to try and do something about it. The weight of the doing is still there. I wish I was not in the position I am in, but I have to step up, own my shit and do something about it. Otherwise what is the point of carrying all these mental bags around? Why did I even waste my time to begin with? Whats the fucking point right! It’s also tied to the whole theory I have about getting whats only running on your inner monologue out. Because even if you are in denial, I believe you are still thinking about it. You know you are working against something yet you are sort of out of control about it all. But you know something is off. The trick is to know if it is you and if so, take some fucking responsibility for it!
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