Could I do a play on words here with you? Is that ok? Because I would never do a play on words, right? I chose the name of my post to be ‘managed care’. I could not get away from that title and if you are subscribed to my emails you know that I get the titles of my blogs first and then I write them based on the title. No title, no blog. But managed care, in this day and age, refers to (as Wikipedia puts it):
Managed care is used in the United States to describe a variety of techniques intended to reduce the cost of providing health benefits and improve the quality of care.
Well obviously that’s not what I am referring to in this series so I was annoyed with myself when I couldn’t get rid of the title and find another. So I looked up the definition of managed and one of the meanings was:
to bring about or succeed in accomplishing, sometimes despite difficulty or hardship
and I looked up the meaning for care and saw that one of the choices was this:
a state of mind in which one is troubled; worry, anxiety, or concern
Could I just be so bold as to stick the two together and create my own definition of managed care which is a representation of the story I am going to tell today? Managed care in today’s post means:
A lifestyle that succeeds in accomplishing, sometimes despite difficulty, a state of mind in which one is troubled.
Yeah…that’s it. And you ain’t just whistlin’ Dixie with this one!
I went to a house party/gathering/get together kind of thing. There were a lot of people there. It was a mixed crowd of singles and married couples, all colors, all occupations but mostly my age range. It was good conversation for the most part and I had a really good time. I, also, had an interesting “fly on the wall” moment with one of the girls at the party.
There are about 4 of us sitting around chatting, just enjoying the night and having a good laugh. Somehow, and I never pay attention to how until it’s too late, we got to yapping about weight, dieting and everything that it entails. I clam up. I got nuttin’. I want to have this conversation like I want to glide my tongue down a splintered piece of wood. Who understands what I’m saying right now? If it wouldn’t have been so obvious, I would have gotten up and moved elsewhere but I was stuck. So it begins…
Let me start by saying it was not the actual conversation that bothered me. To be honest, I cannot for the life of me remember what we were talking about so the topic wasn’t the problem—the girl that was speaking was the problem. I will venture further and say, I like her, actually, so it wasn’t her per se as much as it was what she was trying to convince us of. Have you ever been in one of these conversations where you start wondering if the person you are talking to is really even talking to you or not? Or are they talking to themselves, convincing themselves of the things that are coming out of their mouth? And that wouldn’t be a big deal either because we’ve all done it at least once in our lives but most of the time we are honest about it. What was going on here was a total travesty.
Somehow—again, no idea how—we start talking about daily regimens and how we manage eating in general when there are all these bad choices around us. I should be more specific here and say “they” because I ain’t sayin’ nuttin’. Like nuttin’. So they get into how they all have dieted and how maintenance is tough—yadda, yadda—and the girl launches into how life is so wonderful now that she eats “this way” (I’ll explain in a minute) and she doesn’t know why it took her this long to do this and so on. “This way” means that she eats all organic food, nothing refined in any form, she makes all her own [insert whatever you may buy readymade like salad dressing], she eats very little meat and so on and so forth. There is nothing wrong with the choices of what she eats, I have no organic/whole food agenda here and it is working for her wonderfully because she has dropped a good amount of weight. Here is what you need to know: she is much like “Dr. Mercola” from yesterday in terms of extreme eating, and she is one of the most critical/harsh women I have met in a long time—she’s polarizing to be exact. Her claim here is that she is now ‘happy’, yet she is happy like I’m a domestic housewife (sounds good in theory but never comes to fruition). What she described is a life that is absolutely bound to her eating regimen to live day to day ‘happily’. Change anything in her eating and you have upset her balance.
I know what you are thinking: sounds like a lot of folks I know. Yes, I’m sure, but my issue here is much like the one of yesterday in that she had an agenda and she was recruiting. Unlike “Dr. Mercola” whose agenda was the extreme eating itself, this girl’s agenda was ‘now I am happy and you can be, too’. Suddenly, we were all miserable, shameful creatures because we just couldn’t see how happy and stable her life is now that she changed her food choices. The conversation began to get tense simply because she was trying to convince us that this is the life to live and the rest of us weren’t going for it. No one opposed her but no one supported her either. It was just dead air, she was miffed and just like yesterday’s post I said nothing. (When I go that silent, just know there’s something up.)
Why didn’t I say anything?
I would have upset the eco system. One of the worst things I can ever do (and ask me how I know this…sigh) is to enter into a conversation like that, ask a question or two that would have rocked her world and then get in my car to go home and never look back. If you know that you have a friend, not a close one, who is a holy mess but you don’t want to be the one to deal with it…leave her alone. This girl is at least functioning right now. If I had said anything to her to change where she was but then did not offer any assistance when she fell flat on the floor, then I am as irresponsible as they come.
This is hard for us to understand because many of us operate from a place of compassion when we see someone we know or like or even love suffering from the choices that they are making in their lives. (There is no one there who didn’t want to scream at her, “You are not happy!”) We want to help them and give them some good solid food advice or help them with their training routine, which is all fine and good, but we need to have super sensitive antennae up that tell us when we should leave ‘good enough’ alone. If someone has built their survival around a religious (meaning scrupulously faithful; conscientious) activity and they have gone so far as to convince themselves that this is the way to go…LEAVE THEM ALONE. Only get involved if you are in for the long haul—and I mean long haul. You may disagree with me and that is A-OK with me. I, however, have had my fair share of Humpty Dumpties who have had a great fall all because I stuck a poker in the bees nest and then high-tailed it out of Dodge before realizing I just brought Armageddon to their front lawn. Again…I am reformed.
There’s yet another for us to look at tomorrow before I wrap up via email…hang tight…