Healthist cheerleading

Disease ‘n’ disability romanticists need to read this, at Twisty’s place. Twisty has a pile of sometimes scary and always downright nasty post-cancer-treatment symptoms.

I’m even hopping madder that I find myself capitulating. “So how’re you doing?” people ask me, and I almost always answer that I’m doing “great.” Because it would seem so ungracious to answer any other way. I mean, since after all I’m not dead and wouldn’t it be greedy and ungrateful of me to expect more than that?

Well, I’m puttin’ the kibosh on that bogus shit right now.

Word, word, word. Perky intrepid survivorists can burn their pom-poms and bite me. I survive because there’s no alternative (at least not one I want to consider). I find stuff I can achieve because the alternative is not doing anything, and that would suck too.

Maybe (some? most?) healthism-cheerleaders are catering to some deep fear. If you acknowledge the bad stuff, you can’t pretend it isn’t there, and you have to consider the fact that maybe you’re not going to be capable of running marathons and clubbing all night for the rest of your life. They don’t want to conceive of a world where their health isn’t under their control, isn’t determined by their Informed Choices. They don’t want to think about what it’s actually like to be sick, so they construct this mass delusion of fetishised survivors, with their Courage and their Moral Supremacy and above all their submissive Smiles.


Categories: health

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2 replies

  1. I have nothing to add but Hear! Hear!

  2. PS. I really liked this comment at Twisty’s:

    I think we need to update “How are you doing?” Wouldn’t it be more honest if we had a social nicety that asked:
    “Do you need to vent to me about the sucky thing you’re going through?”
    Then we could say “yes” or “no” and be honest.

    There’s been times I could have done with that regarding the post-natal depression.

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