Sunday, March 05, 2017

Beyond the Self

When I talk with most people about health improvement they respond with something like "well, you know, it's all on you to get healthy." In our individualistic, each person is an island, society this makes perfect sense. Yet without context you have nothing.

It generally costs more to eat healthier. Some foods are subsidized by government and others not. This is a society level issue that needs to be addressed. In the meantime people still have to make choices about their diets. And those choices are in a context.

Going to a gym is often another response to "getting healthy." Yet again, this costs money, and also time. In reality that's something many people have less of than others. Still we blame those with less for not getting ahead.

We blame victims in our society for not getting ahead financially when systems keep people poor. We blame victims of rape. We blame people for getting fat in a society where sugars are cheaper than veggies. Victim blaming is common in our society because without that we have to look at our privileges.

What I was able to accomplish, dropping from a 9.3 A1C to a 5.0 A1C in three months, was largely my individual response to an illness. One where I can see the social and political causes, and where I could easily hold 100% of "blame" on myself if I allowed that. I responded to life in the context of our world with my life's interactions with money, environment, social stress, mental health systems, law enforcement systems, medical systems, local government, and of course classism, sexism, racism, homophobia, and other isms.

My "individual" response included a social network, and an understanding of the systems that contributed to my being diseased by becoming dis-eased. While I figure out sharing what I have been able to accomplish this last 90+ days, I will also figure out how to talk about the socio-political context of disease and healing.

Thank you to all of you who supported me, some more willing than others, in healing!

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