Over the past couple of months I’ve spent lots of time listening to folks around me. I’ve consistently heard similar stories-some longer, some shorter, some more successful than others–but very similar. I’ve noticed this in patients, co-workers, friends & family; Honestly, I was astounded I hadn’t picked up on the theme before now!
The majority of the folks I listened to were managing a chronic health concern. Many them were managing poorly, but it was there nonetheless. Hypertension, diabetes, COPD, CHF, autoimmune disorders, mental health concerns and a host of others. In most cases, they didn’t even realize it! Nor did they implement interventions to improve their health status…AND about 1/3 of those criticized others for not changing lifestyle choices to benefit their health. The smoker criticized the obese patient, the alcoholic dissed the drug abuser, the salt-a-holic harangued the caffeine drinker.
Do they criticize choices of others to justify why theirs is “not so bad”? I think I’ve heard them all: “I only smoke 4-5 cigarettes a day”, “I don’t drink that much”, “It’s better than using drugs”, blah, blah, blah… My friend smokes like a freight train but blames humidity and pollen for her sinus problems & wheezing. Denial?? Yep. Is it hard to give up any of this stuff. Hell yes!!
Here I am, with my pot-calling-the-kettle-black approach, drinking my third pot of coffee as I type this. I’m trying not to think about what it’s doing to my blood pressure. Maybe tomorrow I’ll get a handle on it……..