Saturday, April 2, 2016

psychic self-preservation

I just read ANOTHER "oh my god, i'm being treated for cancer and not only do i feel awful physically, but emotionally" post on facebook.  I'm very sorry people go through this shit, but after a certain point, i HAVE to just harden my heart.

It's impossible to make most people see that they're being played for suckers by "health authorities."  They just KNOW that moderation, lots of healthywholegrains and wholesomefruitsandvegetables, and chroniccardio are GOOD for them.  They just KNOW that Science has learned everything about the human body, and every doctor knows ALL of it.  They just KNOW that Americans live in the best possible country in the best possible world, and nothing could possibly be any better ... unless we could overthrow the government and put a wall around the place.  :-P

Over and over again we hear the stories that people try LC and feel great, but aren't willing to stick with it cuz it means they have to forgo their Krispy Kremes.  That their inoperable cancer goes into remission on a ketogenic diet, but it isn't worth it because they have to give up CARROTS of all things.  Are modern humans so disconnected from reality that they cannot perceive what's important and what isn't ... because i find it very hard to believe that they would CONSCIOUSLY choose sugar over death, unless they were flirting with suicide in the first place.

We talk about people not wanting to exert themselves for their own health's improvement, but expecting a pill to take the place of effort, but are people really that dumb?  Do they HONESTLY BELIEVE that such a thing is possible, or is it merely a facade they place knowingly before their own fecklessness?  Is it a bluff -- "see, i DID SOMETHING, i took that pill!" -- that provides proof they weren't merely neglectful?

It happens politically, too -- many of us are familiar with the story of the man who finally got medical  care via "Obamacare," then voted for a governor who PROMISED to take away that insurance ... and whined when he did!  People consistently cut off their noses to spite their faces.

We are considered horrible people when we point out that stoopid behavior has bad results.  We are accused of "blaming the victim" when "bad things happen to good people" and we saw it coming, AND WARNED THEM.  Their blythe disregard of their own danger and subsequent wailings when the predictions come true result in caring people having their store of sympathy exhausted.

I HATE being "mean" to people who are suffering but when people bring it on themselves, it sometimes boils down to "look:  this is a result of your own conscious action, and i refuse to suffer vicariously for you."  There are plenty of people to feel sorry for in our society who did NOT "ask for it" that i prefer to save my sympathy and outrage for THEM.

Because -- ya know what -- it is stressful for the SYMPATHIZER too.  Empathetic people truly get tied in knots, figuratively-speaking, imagining the sufferings of complete strangers let alone their loved-ones.  The impotence to do anything about cruelty- and stupidity-inspired misbehavior is hugely productive of unhappiness in the sympathetic -- the fact that this has always existed is no consolation, or anodyne to lower those stress-hormones.

For the sake of our own mental and physical health, we have to be able to emotionally walk away from those who demand our commiseration when, against reason, they have persisted in a path to self-destruction.  We have to take care of ourselves, as they obtusely refused to do for themselves.  After coolly expressing condolence, we have to disengage, take a deep breath, and resume taking care of things where we actually have a chance of making a difference.


  1. Adulting is a key component that is missing-IMO. I knew that moderating Skinny Cow Ice Cream while watching The Biggest Loser could increase my breast cancer risk, but putting down 2WW point ice cream and doing something about it was going to "be a lot of work and not taste good" I also new darn well I'd go through epic addiction withdrawals. Life long food addiction sucked. Going into remission was tough stuff.

    I guess seeing friends, family, and co-workers suffering and dropping dead really opened my eyes. And the fact that diabetes was going to be long, slow, and painful and that a pill could probably not fix multiple diseases.

    So many preventable diseases. A long with the ones you cannot prevent. It's expensive at the very least.

    1. "Adulting" as you say -- not fun but sometimes essential! In social media i see lots of discussion of people's ups and downs, and i think that yes there are a bunch of shades-of-grey problems, but so many others should seem more black-and-white to people! Oh well -- it's probably because i'm OUTSIDE the situation that i seem to see the obvious choice so clearly....

  2. I'm of the same mind about this...Sadly.

    1. I imagine, in your profession you either have to detach or you'll go crazy! :-) A layperson like me can afford to have a strong opinion and to express it, because it's unlikely to have repercussions that are really ugly.

  3. 1. Our brain waves don't reach out and help the person.
    2. People don't want to hear that they need to take the straight and narrow path, and will fight you tooth and nail to hang on to their folly.
    3. Once I realized this, I focused on my own life and decamped to paradise (aka Indiana). And my mother finally focused on her own crap--announcing she's going zero carb. Maybe when people can finally quit arguing for their position, they're open to changing it.

    But even if they don't change their position for the better, what can you do but make a rational case and move on?

    1. 1. THAT'S for sure! :-)
      2. This is why WeightWatchers is so popular, i guess -- people get to hang onto their folly and still think they'll succeed....
      3. You're a particularly logical individual. I'll bet a lot of people stick to a failing status-quo because fear of the new joins forces with affection for the familiar to quell their cognitive dissonance. Bringing objectivity to shine a light on one's problems can be depressing!

      Much as i'd like to help a lot of people, it just ain't gonna happen, for the most part! I suppose i'm feeling guilty for "turning my back on X" even though i don't know her in real life -- i've gotta get over that! [sigh]

    2. Even high-functioning people do #3. People who do otherwise are often regarded as SOBs. See Steve Jobs, Jack Welch, Robert Atkins, Scarlett O'Hara (in the book)--and me when I was trying to get my parents' affairs in order.

      In the same way that conservatives are liberals who were mugged, a lot of heartless SOBs are compassionate people who got tired of being dragged into other people's crap. Theodore Dalrymple observes that the abused women he sees as a psychiatrist in a public clinic often end up leaving their abusers. Like Dorothy, they had the power to leave all along.

    3. Damn, girl, you need to blog more often -- you have a great way with words!

  4. Might as well put this SOMEWHERE, but so far I'm inordinately pleased w/my "lower cortisol to readjust HPA axis" NON-battle plan:
    A.) ZERO CONTACT w/ex-husband despite the fact that he's now claiming he hasn't received child support I paid in through state-ordered website? but if I can't sort it out myself through the state agency w/banking records, I'll pay my attorney to handle it.
    Wish I knew what he hopes to accomplish in these final few months, but it's NOT worth the emotional turmoil to engage...
    B.) Cutting non-supportive/argumentative "friends" out of my social circles; I'm not insisting that all be sweetness & light - certainly I welcome CONSTRUCTIVE criticism but I'll no longer defend myself from unending attacks/snark/questioning of my materials & motives...

    I may remain "stuck" here on my 90-kg plateau, but not kidding myself (unlike some delusional souls, whose blogs I'm drawn to as gawkers rubberneck at an accident) that I'm any sort of special snowflake... Unwilling to stick to LCHF protocol with complete rigor; I've seen significant improvements in body composition & energy levels even w/my restricted-carb approach. Who knows, if I get worsening news at my next recheck, I might be "all in" on a ketogenic diet primarily for anti-neoplastic effects...

    1. Pardon my putting my nose into it, but your ex sounds like the type who is only happy when someone else is miserable, and you're his perfect fall-guy. :-( Your first priority has GOT to be self-protection, because without that, you'll have no basis for any happiness, yourself! Reducing stress is SO IMPORTANT for health and well-being, your plan sounds right-on to me (and don't forget to take extra magnesium). ;-)

      When busy and stressed, agonizing about food choices is the last thing you need. YOU KNOW what YOU need and what you can get away with. My very best wishes for everything to improve!!!

    2. Thanks Tess...
      It actually appears (& I shouldn't be the least bit surprised) that L hand has no idea what R hand is doing in state agency - making long story shorter, I'm going to have to apply for REFUND of 6 mos' worth of child support I've already paid into the system... But since Ex has already sicced the state dogs on me, future payments must be deducted from payroll of clinic (my office mgr & I did have a nice laugh over that - how idiotic is it to tell the clinic owner to dock her own pay??!!??).
      And since I draw my paycheck on the 1st of each morning month, he won't get squat till May - & following state schedule, by God, to the LETTER! can't afford to confuse their tiny brains - Ex won't get a lump sum, too bad!
      (I forgave almost $5K of HIS child support in arrears years ago in the interest of "good faith" but of course he's conveniently forgotten that)

    3. Thanks, autocorrecting iPad - that "morning" in 1st line of last paragraph is superfluous...
      I set up a counter - 66 days until my son turns 18; anyone want to take any bets on how long it will be before he visits Dear Ol' Dad again?!?
      (since he's also his mother's tenderhearted son, I'm predicting next Christmas)