Denial: When refusing reality is as good as it gets.
From dumbest to smartest, no one is exempt from it. In fact, I think that the smartest of us are the most clever at making denial seem perfectly rational. We combine denial with massive rationalizations to create an alternate reality that others may actually believe. If you write it down, it’s called “a novel.”
I went through that with each dog, each cat, my need for (and months of) rejected heart surgery. I went through denial when my brother, mother, and first husband each were dying. Ultimately, with each person, I took a mental cold shower and did what needed doing.
There are times when denial is your only defense against an intolerable reality, between life and death. But it needs to be temporary. Reality has a nasty habit of intruding on even the finest construction of denial. Reality has an attitude while denial is thin and translucent.
None of this applies if you are extremely wealthy and can comfortably retire to a distant, yet somehow perfect island in a faraway sea. In fact, I think a lot of our top one percenters live fully in denial.
Problems? What problems?