Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Healing Power of Denial

My mother tells a wonderful story about a friend of hers back in graduate school who once explained how he dealt with a cold. He explained that he crawled into bed with a bottle of tequila.
"Does that help?" my mother asked.
"Oh, Sandra," he answered, "who the hell cares?"

A stroll through the self-help section of any major bookstore leaves us with an unescapable conclusion: we have not given nearly enough recognition to the healing power of denial. In fact, denial is passed over as a psychological modality. Personally, I think that positive thinking is an outdated schema. Have we not yet learned that thinking good thoughts day in and day out is taxing to our psyche, whereas denial and negative thinking is simple and cathartic? When someone tells you to, "Have a nice day," do you actually start to think about how you can have a nice day, or do you think about how you can do bodily harm to the well-wisher?

I am going to write a book titled Who the Hell Cares?: The Healing Power of Denial and Negative Thinking. It will have its own place of honor in the self-help section of the bookstore. It will have a place of honor because none of the other self-help books will talk to it. This, of course, won't bother my book, because it will spend every evening coming up with new ways to deface Wayne Dyer's cover jacket photo.

See, I'm feeling more relaxed already.

Speaking of denial therapy, my wife had a dance performance last Saturday night. She did a bang up job (of course), but she was concerned about feeling congested the morning before the performance. "It's just allergies," she told me. And it was just allergies, all the way through the performance Saturday night, after which, on Sunday morning, it turned into a whopping case of the flu.

This coming Saturday, I am biking the Hilly Hundred. I am doing everything possible to shield myself from my wife's flu (getting a flu shot, sleeping in another bed, spraying my surroundings with disinfectant, dosing on vitamin C and elderberry extract, chewing whole cloves of garlic...). I even have been drinking my new favorite vitamin C drink, which is kind of like a poor man's Tequila Sunrise. I call it a Tequila C.

Tequila C

1 highball glass
3 ice cubes
1 jigger tequila
juice of one lime
3 oz orange juice (or enough to fill up the remaining space in the glass)

Mix all ingredients. Drink.

Every now and then, I started to feel a little tickle in my throat or a touch of congestion, but I know that because of all my preventative measures, anything I am feeling is simply allergies. And it will stay allergies through the end of the Hilly Hundred.

Of course, I fully expect to get one whopping case of the flu on Monday morning. But that's okay, because I can simply crawl into bed and cuddle with the remainder of the bottle of tequila. And will it help me recover? Who the hell cares.

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