Knowing Better and Still Not Doing It – “That’s the sickness.”

A week or two ago I called a friend, Diego, to see how things were going with his blood pressure. He had had really, really high blood pressure, so high that a doctor seemed concerned about even letting him walk out of the office. Diego also had come up with a pretty solid plan for solving the problem, one involving things like diet changes, weight loss, exercise and changing the way he handles life issues.

Hey. That sounded like a great idea for a story, maybe called “My Friend Diego Solves Insanely High Blood Pressure. Here’s How.”

So before writing it I wanted to confirm that he had gotten the job done.

“It is lower.”  He told me.

So it was fixed, solved, the pressure in some kind of normal or healthy range?

“No.”

I told him about my story idea and he told me that I could just wait, maybe give him another month and all would be well and I could write about it. He said he was psyched, that the idea of the story was even a good incentive for him to get on with it.

So I called him today to see how our little project was going.

The answer? No progress.

“That’s the sickness” he said. Then he noted the similarity to what his mother had done, when she had basically chosen to die rather than taking advantage of healing resources he had provided for her, and he suggested that instead of writing about his success I should write about his lack of it. “That’s the sickness.”

Not a bad idea. What he said is so right on, and what he has going on is so common. It’s a level of sickness, one in which a person knows basically how to solve a problem and for some reason, inertia, unconscious issues, or whatever, leaves the problem unsolved.

Me personally, I don’t get it. I mean, sure I get it. I understand psychology and habits and things like that. Still, I don’t get it.

For one thing, being sick can be a total drag. In Diego’s case, for instance, he has real reason to be concerned about the consequences of continuing to live with what is still rather high blood pressure.

For another, solving things can be so straightforward. Losing that eighty pounds of extra weight, for instance, seems simple. Just eat less than you burn.

So between one thing and another, staying sick, especially when one has at hand an actual plan for getting healthy, seems insane to me.

Solving back problems, lowering bad cholesterol, solving diabetes, solving cancer, resolving relationship issues, any kind of thing, a person can do it, if the person just gets through the knowing what to do level to the actually doing it level.

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