Denial of Self
Sometimes when I look back it can make me feel like I’ve been Peter denying Christ after the Last Supper and a lot more than three times. The parallel that I’d forgotten was that after the third denial the cock crowed and it reminded Peter that Jesus had said Peter would deny him three times that night before cock crow. At which point Peter broke down and sobbed bitterly.
I’ve asked a lot of questions about myself over a long period of time and veered away from the difficult answers, telling myself that the unpalatable conclusions can’t be right, repressing and denying what now seems so obvious. Much of that can be put down to cultural pressures though it now feels more like a cop out.
Denying one’s self and nature can only go on for so long. I’m oddly grateful that my current job became so tedious as it allowed me to time to focus on other things, personal things and to discover that by no longer denying them I have far more important things to do in my life.
I can’t say that coming out of self denial makes things easier, it presents new problems that are harder to deal with than when in denial. What it does do is make me far more relaxed in being who I am and facing those problems (and opportunities). It makes it possible to persevere when the new-ish sensations of anxiety and depression attack. It makes it possible to really appreciate the people who knew who I was long before I stopped denying it and to enjoy their support.
And although not sobbing like Peter, in recognising that denial and starting to move beyond it the emotional overload has at times been intense. Sometimes I wish I’d been able to sob, it would have helped on the path to self-redemption.
The current situation with Covid-19 exposes a wide range of reactions from people. The company meeting this week to ‘encourage’ working from home, as per the latest government advice, descended in to something of a farce with a number of people close to full blown anxiety and panic attacks.
Given that I have my own triggers for anxiety attacks I can understand what they’re going through, however, these are none of my triggers.
I find myself quite dispassionate about the whole thing. I had a good think as to why that may be. Perhaps it’s partly because I haven’t owned a television in over 5 years. I see meltdowns online and at work and have to think why I feel totally dissociated from it. Am I perhaps in denial about the whole thing.
On the whole, I think not. I’m perfectly happy to take precautions to help protect people I come into contact with, I get that. When I consider my own possibility of infection and potential mortality I find a strange disconnect – I don’t care, I really don’t. I’m sure that some readers may find that shocking. I have no active suicidal desire, but from recently learning to cope with depression I have learned that mortal oblivion holds no fears and at times is a quite attractive thought train.