Yep I’ve been a bit overwhelmed by "healthiness" and it’s normative thing. I was thinking of your question and today TR asked me when I was complaining I didn’t sense I was fitting in anywhere "but would you even like to be normal?"can i ask if you could elaborate on this more? i am curious of your thoughts on this subject. i have a very rigid understanding of what healthy is that it is "good" to be healthy and "bad" to be unhealthy. but i can see how that language could potentially become overloaded of toxic positivity and whatnot as well.
So I had to think of what was normal. In the statistical sense, for me it’s the median point, a Gaussian curve. And you can deviate more or less from the median point, that is when the most people share the same characteristic that is set at some point. Like the IQ is based on such a calculation. But i guess many things can be calculated in this way, and depending on what you do select to constitute your norms, and if you select everything to make your norm by crossing them with each other in different dimensions (am I making sense??), then you’re left with a very small area that is very unlikely to be normal in the broad sense.
Another objection I had was that as I did find my own experience "normal" since it’s the only one I had, then I cannot even have an idea of what could be different than myself. I don’t have a control group of myself, so my own normal simply doesn’t make any sense at all.
But then if I had to think about "normal" in the sense it’s normative and what is wished for and represented as being the most relatable or desirable as a goal and a norm, then the word we’re looking for is hegemony and not normality. So, would I like to feel and behave like the hegemonic system in place is set? Hell no. Would I like my life to feel easier and more pleasant? Yes.
So then "healthy" for me is very linked to this idea of what’s desired as a good state. I do know that as in medical terms, healthy refers to an organism that is capable of maintaining itself and smoothly adapt to situations and manage physical or psychological distress. So in the way that healthy refers to an internal sense of comfort, efficiency in doing things and maintaining sustainable, enjoyable relationships where no harm is present, then I’m okay with healthy.
But healthy as being rigid sets of rules, you have to choose the rules and there you can have normativity/hegemonic imagination in it. With all ableist, sexist, racist, whateverist distortions that can contain. The places where a norm is set aren’t the places where statistical norms are. Norms are visions of the mind, of your own (by example many people here suffering from abuse find it somehow "normal" as it’s there!) and of society. So it’s a hot mess.
However at the end I do agree that at some point we must have criteria to decide whether something is "normal" (f*cking word again!) / expected / non-destructive / adaptive as a way of coping or if it’s the reverse, disordered. At least the word dis-order has some sincerity lol. So I’d say my standards would be: if you’re in prolonged pain, then you need help to cease it. If you’re causing harm to yourself or others, then the suffering from the harm is also the proof something needs to change. The sense of suffering, internal (yours) and/or external (you’re making a hard time to your environment to the point they’re more or less suffering from it), then it sets the limit between adaptive (or just neutral) and disordered.
So this is a very long and convoluted answer to basically say what you were saying. For me anything that is a rule that overtakes the underlying principles such as "healthy" has been, it’s problematic. Because you’re functioning in repressive mindsets. Not that no behaviour should be repressed, I think some should actually really be, but often by doing that we’re repressing the underlying meaning of it and this ends up being problematic. If you robotize yourself in rules that you have to follow, it might well be very useful for a while but it’s not comfortable and the lid still might explode on the long go. Which wouldn’t be healthy then!