Tuesday, March 30, 2010

and answers your questions

So, I have returned from the last of Paella, fortresses, cathedrals, and art. The art is either about Jesus or sex, but not both together. The cathedrals are usually built inside of the fortresses. Spain has a long history of fighting with invaders, such as Roman and Arabs. If no one was invading then they seemed to be able to fight amongst themselves. City against city, region against region, fascist against communist. Even now that has not completely calmed down, but the place certainly did not feel threatening. The biggest rivals now seem to be Real Madrid vs. The Barcelona Futbal Club, and that is pretty intense.

The wine is cheap, the Mediterranean Sea was tranquil, as we could see from the deck of our spa in the olive grove outside of Tarragonia. The old, old cities (200BC or so) were pretty exotic. So give it a try.

Also, Susi asked about Xanex, and although I do not pretend to be Dr. Phil, or Dr. Oz, or Dr. Laura or Dr. Joy Brown, I will answer. From my answer you will see why I would never succeed like any of them.

The answer to Susi's question is that Xanex really works, often, for most people. Yes, it does become addicting, but it can be very helpful. Also, it is easily misused and can become very harmful.

But the effect that Susi felt, of it calming her anxiety is pretty much what it was designed to do. I have other clients who take Propranolol, which is a beta-blocker, which slows down the racing heart and can keep you can be calm in situations that usually make you tense.

Is it better to learn to clam yourself down --probably, but it really isn't that easy, especially if you are constitutionally sensitive and responsive.

So, if it works, and you use it sparingly, and don't start popping them just to drive in traffic, or just to get zoned out, then why not.

But, it probably wouldn't have saved any of your marriages. That's just a guess. I don't know how hard you were to live with.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Looking ahead

Here's the long and short of it.

Looking long-term, that's say two years. Things should be good for me and mine. That assumes that the rest of the world, including our government entitlement programs, the Capitalist money machines, the invading hordes of illegal aliens, the crazy Islamo-fascists, the crazy Tea-Party zealots, 5 members of the U.S. Supreme Court, and members of the local gentry don't finally push us all passed the tipping-point and over the edge.

My life is changing as I enter the age of government entitlements. Soon I will have the option of soaking out more from my government than I put in, but I don't think I will jump for that soon. Also, there are good signs that things in my family may be changing and, if all goes well, the cycle of life will continue. This is something I am wildly in favor of, despite what I have seen of human nature.

Closer in time, in another week we are leaving this continent temporarily, to experience other places, some we have never seen before. I am not one for high risk, body exerting, macho-proving trips. Nor do I care for highly uncomfortable, but proper eco-tourism, to see the exotic, while not disturbing anything, even the mosquitoes and snakes. No, we are going to Madrid and Barcelona, to drink wine, eat the paella, and watch the people who go to the beaches, parks and museums.

But, before I go I have 34 appointments. Business has been very busy this year, despite all the trashing of my profession that has gone on in the media. But the media trashes on everything now, so I guess no one listens. Of the 34 people or couples, I will be pleased to see 28, three are boring, and three are such a pain in the ass that they take up 75% of my extra effort. It only takes a couple of self-absorbed lunatics to muddy all the waters.

Last week I saw a woman I had not seen in 26 years. During that period I had seen her daughter, and two of that daughter's four children, who have all grown-up now, and seem to be doing better than I would have expected. The woman herself, who is 75 now, at first also seemed better than expected, but as she continued to explain her current situation, she brought up the secret cable that had been inserted in her brain and attached to her private parts, and they still use to get her stimulated. But, I couldn't help but admire the survival skills that helped her survive in this cruel and threatening world.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

2 men, surprise

I have been working with two couples since last summer. In both cases the women were depressed, angry and fed up with men who they saw as sullen, uncommunicative, and self-centered. One couple had been married for twenty-two years, one for twelve.

By November one of the men seemed easy to deal with, at least during the sessions. He expressed a willingness to change and he acknowledged that he had problems. He complained that his wife often had a temper and would get loud and challenging when she was unhappy and that pushed him away. She said that she was trying her best to "bite her tongue" and hoped he could relax and become more open with her.

The other guy, who I mentioned in a previous post, said he worked hard, he was not going to succumb to pressure, especially from some woman, and he went into the other room to watch wrestling.

Now, it's four months later. During that time the wife of the second man decided that if her husband was going to take a strong stand and not respond to her repeated pleas for a closer relationship then he could go fuck himself. After weeks of threatening, she moved out. A week after she was gone he began to fall apart. He was stunned. He didn't think she would or she could. But she did, and she seemed to like being on her own and not feeling that she was always wrong and deficient.

He begged and pleaded for a month. Flowers, candies, texts, poems, everything he had never done for twenty-two years. She finally relented and met him for coffee and a discussion of what she expects. Now, six weeks later, she has been back home for three weeks. He won't watch TV until she feels they have communicated enough. He takes her out once or twice a week. He comments on how she is dressed and remembers what she was talking about. He seems to like how it feels to get close to someone. He decided that he doesn't have to be like his father.

The other guy still works all day and comes home, watches TV and falls asleep. He still says that he is trying to change but his wife says that she sees no evidence of that at home. He seems petrified of getting close to anyone, even the kids. She is tired of holding back and after three months of waiting for him to come and participate, laid into him. He went out for a three hour ride. He came home and went to bed.

They have younger kids and she doesn't want to throw him out. They also would have a tough time financially, and she counts on him to watch the kids while she works. She is now trying to live with him, but not expect anything. He says he is "working on things," but I don't think he really knows what that means.

It's like a lot of things: You can only get what you want when you realize that you don't need it.

Friday, March 05, 2010

can't or won't? But...

I saw one of those Chantix ads on TV and it made me think of Gloria. Gloria took Chantix for over a week. She said it was working; it made her cigarettes taste like garbage. So, then she stopped taking it so she could smoke.

A few things about Gloria: she is in her late 30s, she weighs about 350, easily. She has beginning stages of everything you would expect and a bit more, as now she looses feelings in various parts of her body. She takes all kinds of pills to keep her from toppling over and dying. Sometimes she doesn't take the pills.

Once, with the help of other professions, we set up a diet and exercise program, based around carrots and short walks that would get longer. She took two walks. She stopped for a donut and coffee on the way back.

Here's the difference between Gloria and the Chantix commercial. In the commercial, if you listen closely, they always say that they couldn't have done it without Chantix AND a supporting family. Gloria doesn't have that. Her mother died when she was seventeen, her father is in Florida. He calls once a month to give her a list of his ailments. Her sister is somewhere in Chicago, she thinks.
She had a boyfriend, but he drifted away about eight years ago when she only weighed about 280.

Gloria is smart, funny, hip and knows a lot. She has friends who are also cool, but no one really special, and she is really special to no one. So who cares if she has that donut.

Yes, if she looses 180 pounds it might be easier for her to find someone special, maybe. But that would take two years of real discipline, and then what. Then, maybe.

Really, it's not about free will,it's not about psychiatric illness, it's almost always about relationships.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

What I've learned in my absence

Yeah, yeah, I went away and left you unattended, my dear blog.. I have been sitting here waiting to get started, and then things just kept happening. Yes, we tried to get away from the constant cold of February for a few days, and we were fairly successful. We found a spot that was warm, not hot, but warm. That was good enough. We did our taxes, that was a pain in the ass; numbers up numbers down, not much left over, send that to the government.

People in this country don't trust their government. They fight wars to protect their freedom to elect the government, and then they hate the government they have elected. They find it difficult to pay $400 a month for an inefficient, confusing program run by the government. They would rather pay $700 a month for what is pretty much the same program run by people who get rich off the extra money, usually by denying services.

But that brings me to other things that kept me busy over the past month. Writing more checks. There was Haiti, that was bad, and the cancer people, the diabetes people and so many other diseases. Then the orphans, from Haiti, Africa, Romania, Afghanistan, etc. There are refugees In Africa, in Asia, in the Middle East. Yes, there is the Middle East, with war victims, terror victims, endless peace initiatives, and educational projects. That is true close to home too, with hospitals, wounded veterans, homeless shelters, battered women's homes, all in need. And our schools too. City schools need support, kids need scholarship money, money for sports, money for computers, money for lunch.

So this is what I've learned since I've been away:

The World Sucks --- send a check.