Tag Archives: Denial

Am I in denial?

“The books” say that it is normal to experience psychological issues following a heart event… relief, worry, fear, anger, anxiety, dread, depression.

I feel fine.

Am I in denial?

“Most men would rather deny a hard truth than face it.”
– George R R Martin, A Game of Thrones

This is a big question, so I started by looking online for guidance…

I was amazed to discover that it’s possible to perform one of many Popular Denial Quizzes!!!  Somehow it seems reasonable to have “Denial Quizzes”, but this is a serious matter and adding the word “Popular” trivialises it somehow.  Anyway, after some time I discovered:

  1. Yes, I am really over her  (Are you really over him / her?)
  2. I am “Quite Normal”  (How insane are you?)
  3. I’m in “Acceptance”  (What stage of sorrow are you?)
  4. My soul shines “Red”  (What colour light does your soul shine?)

  5. Sorry… No more!  I’m losing the will to live, and not feeling like I’m getting closer to an answer… please feel free to explore the other quizzes and let me know if I missed anything insightful!

The thing is, I don’t feel like I’ve been through anything particularly major.

Yes, I know having a Heart Attack is a big deal.  If someone I know had been through the same experience I would be concerned for them.  I have first-hand experience of this – I think my feelings were a little pity and a little fear.  For them, not for me.

Am I in denial?

“The thing about denial is that it doesn’t feel like denial when it’s going on.”
– Georgina kleege, Sight Unseen

I was ill for a couple of hours – the time between having the Heart Attack and completion of the angioplasty procedure.  I was clearly at risk before this (and definitely in denial at that stage!).

I didn’t need to have an Operation.  There were no stitches.  At no point were any procedures performed on me while I was unconscious.  I was able to play my own (very small) role as and when required to do so.

It might sound strange, but I wasn’t scared.  Uncomfortable, yes.  In distress.  But I didn’t feel like I was particularly in danger.

Am I in denial?

“Denial is an essential part of my existence. Without it, I am nothing.”
– Jason Krumbine, Just Dial 911 for Assistance

Am I now more aware of my mortality?  Probably, but it’s not a new concept for me.

I think about things… a lot.  I think about what the future might hold – bad as well as good.  I don’t obsess about it, just think from time to time.  I guess I’ve always worked on the basis that thinking through lots of potential scenarios will make me better prepared when something does happen – like having a Heart Attack, for example.  For me, it was a shock but not a huge surprise.

For most of us we will never know when we faced our greatest risk.  These moments pass, leaving us safe and blissfully ignorant.

Am I in denial?

“I wasn’t crying about mothers,” he said rather indignantly. “I was crying because I can’t get my shadow to stick on. Besides, I wasn’t crying.”
– J M Barrie, Peter Pan

I have Coronary Heart Disease.  I always will.  As a result I have a higher risk of having heart problems in the future.  However, the medication I take, and a living healthy lifestyle, will help prevent it inconveniencing me, but I know I’ll never be “cured”.

There is nothing I can do about the choices I made in the past.  As far as I’m concerned my health is down to me and the choices I make in the future.

Am I in denial?

“Everything was perfectly healthy and normal here in Denial Land.”
– Jim Butcher, Cold Days

I feel good.  I feel strong.  I am sleeping well.  I am really looking forward to the Rehab sessions so I can set some new goals and start to build a new routine.  I feel ready to return to work.

I have already made changes.  I am ready to make more.

The more people I talk to or hear about the more I realise how lucky I am.  There are lots of people in far worse positions than me.


Personally, I don’t think I am in denial, but I would wouldn’t I!