Denial Is a Form of Optimism

Denial is an interesting word with many guises.

It can work in your favour. It can save you pain. It can delay the inevitable and it can block a memory. But it can work against you. The inevitable remains assured and memories can resurface.

While denial can be born from ignorance or stupidity, it is also about self-preservation and I maintain my belief in its optimism. It serves to protect us a little longer from harsh realities or inconveniences until our minds are better ready to deal with them. As we can’t seem to remove this filter (and certainly, some people possess bigger denial-filters than others – and indeed some never reach awareness), we’ll never know if this system is in place for better or worse, but it is optimism nevertheless.

There’s a video somewhere on the internet. It’s grainy CCTV store footage of people shopping and/or browsing and a fire starts. A light-fitting gets too hot and ignites some fabric. Customers continue to shop. More people walk into the store to browse. The whole video is quite surreal.

This brings me to ice skating last evening.

It was my idea. Neither my friend or I had been for ages so I thought we’d have an evenly matched skill level. I was wrong. Apparently she used to roller skate in her childhood so she was better from the outset. She pulled me a long for a few laps and we watched professionals casually spinning and skating backwards with such grace that when their phones received text messages they answered them without losing rhythm while skating. As time went on I began to get some confidence back, I stopped clinging to my friend or the handrail and my toes stopped gripping the inside of my shoes (which my brain obviously felt would help me grip the ice). After a time my friend and I began to skate a little more equally and we started to chat. And laugh, we laughed a lot. And my friend fell over. She laughed herself off her skates. It wasn’t a sliding fall, she flailed forward, over-corrected, flailed backwards with skates spinning cartoon-style and took a solid fall to the ground.

I gave her ten points for execution, but first I asked her if she was okay.

Sure. I’m Fine. I reckon I’ll be sore tomorrow. So we skated a couple more laps and I asked her again. Yeah, I’ll be fine – I’m such a klutz. After a few more laps I asked her if she wanted to go. My elbow is hurting a bit.

We headed back to her place, got some ice onto her arm and got out a board game. We played a couple of rounds with our conversation drifting back to her injury from time to time. I’ll be fine. I can still move my fingers. It’s just a sprain.

As I went to leave, she went to stand. Ow, ow, ow. Wow, it really hurts.

I said it couldn’t be broken because everyone who’d I known to break a bone felt sick and thought they’d faint.

Um.  Actually, initially, I thought I might.


I drove her to Emergency. She’d broken her elbow.


nanopoblano2015darkClick on the link to visit the team of Tiny Peppers. It’s Rarasaur’s version of NaBloPoMo and it’s called Nano Poblano.  Or, as I’ve been calling it lately Nano Problano.

We’re blogging every day in the month of November! I think I’m actually getting the hang of this.


12 thoughts on “Denial Is a Form of Optimism

  1. Ouch! I am accident prone and will trip over my own feet. If there’s an accident to be had at something, I’m your girl. Miraculously I survived my attempt at ice skating with nothing more than bruises. But when I tried horse riding, I managed to break my arse. That’s a whole other story. Hope your friend feels better soon.

    • She’s quite philosophical about the whole thing. I’m so impressed with how she handled it all! But it was her birthday week and it’s so unfair! Today, I realised we went skating on Friday the 13th, not that I’m superstitious but, you know, were we pushing our luck? On the upside, even with a broken arm, we laughed A LOT. Laughter is the best medicine. 😀

    • Thank you. And yes I have and I don’t know. It’s been a really good exercise for me. I’m actually writing faster because my internal self-editor has been forced to rein itself in. It’s been good for me overall. I’m just writing and if there are mistakes then there are mistakes. 🙂 I hesitate. Ask me again after November. 😀

  2. Pingback: Buying our World | Will Wally Wonder

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