The obvious flaws with the mental illness system point to similar but maybe less obvious issues in physical healthcare.
Both say that if you are suffering it is your responsibility to do whatever it takes to relieve your suffering, no matter how much it compromises your integrity.
Most of us don’t enjoy physical pain and do want relief, but similar to emotional suffering, sometimes it can be nice to explore physical symptoms or simply experience them and accept them on ones own terms without seeing them as a mistake. Like we advocate for mental diversity, why not physical diversity, such as some people are more tired and have less physical capacity in certain ways but that doesn’t lower their value in society, especially because loss of certain abilities almost always increases others.
Maybe the abilities that are increased aren’t socially valued, such as connecting, loving, even sleeping! There have been times when I’ve enjoyed being exhausted and sleeping a lot, not being able to keep working due to illness or injury, even though I had “less worth” to society. .
The illness itself helped me come back to myself. The hardest part is often the isolation and lack of feeling worthy or of value when our bodies aren’t capable of functioning at a level that others appreciate.
Also modern medicine creates this illusion that we should always be in control of our bodies (and minds, emotions), and if we’re not it’s because we aren’t doing the right things or we aren’t doing enough. But that’s an illusion. We aren’t meant to be in full control of everything and exert our will on everything and fix every problem in a linear fashion as quickly as possible. That would be the most boring and unimaginative reality ever with no room for real healing, real connection or honest meaning making in our lives.
This blog was inspired by this post by Emily Sheera Cutler.