Friday, June 24, 2011

Just before I left

As you know, in my head, I am ready to take the summer off. That granddaughter of mine  is beginning to stack those plastic blocks and she needs someone to knock them over.

However, I am still working three full days a week.  People still come in hour after hour, and when I am working I am working.  It is mostly a good feeling.  A couple of borderline personalities call and weep about how it seems to them that their lives are the worst in the world, but others are doing well and that is gratifying.

Yet, just as I was preparing to leap across the work/no work barrier, Arleen came in.  She seemed a bit teary eyed, and a bit more disjointed that she had been recently.  This is a woman who began treatment almost four years ago.  She had been struggling with addictions, she had lost her job, was thrown out of her home by her crazy mother, had lost custody of her son, and became very self-destructive.

With a lot of work, fueled in part by a lot of justifiable anger, some of it at alcohol treatment programs and AA, she was able to not only get sober, but to get herself functioning, begin college, get her son back, and find an apartment close to her parents, to whom her son was still close.

She stayed strong and keep going despite, having to give up the long relationship she had with a married man.  That was followed, a few months later, by his suicide.  But Arleen kept on plugging.

However, a week ago, her sister, who was the older girl who had always been the favored child,  split up with her third husband and moved into the mother's house.  This was a bit upsetting because the mother lavished all kinds of help onto the sister; help which had always been denied to Arleen.

But things fell apart when Arleen came back to her own apartment, and found her sister in bed with some guy she had met two hours ago.  There was beer and Jack Daniels spread all around the apartment, and the sister explaining that she knew she couldn't do this at the mother's place, but what  was she supposed to do, give up sex?  It was then that Arleen opened a beer and felt as if the world was just too much to handle.

She has been drinking a little bit on each of the five days since then.  If she doesn't stop completely it is going to gt worse, and everything she had achieved will fall apart.

I am leaving for a four day weekend.  I am trying to keep in touch with Arleen almost every day to give her some encouragement to stay sober.  We had one good day.  Today she had no minutes left on her phone, so it was disconnected.

Tomorrow I'm supposed to play golf.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Doing very little.

I am surprised at how easy it becomes to do very little. It can become kind of infectious.  There is so much to do when you don't do much, and then getting anything real done really gets in the way.

Summer arrives Tuesday.  My work time is cut to three days a week.  I expected to use the newly available time to do new exciting, physically and intellectually invigorating things.  It's not really happening.  A lot is happening instead, but nothing of any consequence.  And that becomes easy, and I certainly can't say it isn't enjoyable.

I see friends, I cook, I do a few errands, that can take up almost all day, if I have all day to do it. I have even played golf. (talk about letting time just fade away)  I'm even improving slightly.  Today I went out in a kayak, then I got to see my kid (Happy Father's Day).  Tomorrow is more of the same.  Friends, errands, cooking. There is a grandchild to bother, and another one coming.

 I thought that I would be reading, writing, thinking, exploring, with all the new available time.  It's not happening. Can't even find time to sit with a book for a full hour.

I was able to watch the Bruins.  They Won!  That was fun, watching Marchand skate around punching people, and then scoring.

It's very easy doing not much.  I don't like anything getting in the way.  They days I work, I work, but they days that I don't, I don't want to be distracted from not doing much.

I still have things I have to get done, things that need to be done important things.  Here is my list for the intermediate future:

1. Change the direction that mental health treatment is going in this country.  It is being pushed off as much too biologically determined, and much to medical.  That needs to change.

2.  Explain the evolutionary process and purpose of consciousness.  This is kind of a hobby of mine. This has not yet been explained to my satisfaction.

3.  And also, help solve the Israel -- Palestine problem.  That situation has dragged on for my whole life.  It's enough already.

But, the summer is coming and I don't think I will get to any of this until at least early October.  I have much too much "not much" to do, and lots of friends are coming up for the summer. There is a grandchild to bother.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

can't shake that feeling

I can't really shake it.

Contentment seems synonymous with resignation.  If you're that impressed with yourself then you've done enough.  But look around.  The world is still a mess.

It may not be your fault, but you are still (at least partially) responsible.

What can I say; that's how I feel.

and unless you're part of the solution, you're part of the problem ( asshole ).

Sunday, June 05, 2011

All that Sarah and I could accomplish together!

Yes, forsythia I do often wonder if I have retained enough of my marbles to keep rolling along.  I have noticed interesting things about the workings of my brain.  I do forget names, and I"m not nearly as good as my wife at recognizing faces -- she once picked out a cousin of mine, who I had not seen for ten years of  a concert crowd.  But I find that I do remember the names of my patients ( you would hope), but also their kids, parents, significant others, length of their various marriages, lists of their illnesses, of their spouses' illness, infidelities, and tendencies, and so many other bits of personal minutia   So, far so good.

I am also pleased with how well I can think, not only about problems, but about solutions. One of my reasons for writing this blog is to explore how complex human problems really are.  How they involve so many complex interactions between inter-personal relationships, psychological tendencies, biological abilities, societal and cultural conditions, sub-cultural expectations, and even random, unpredictable events. This blog is part of a struggle to make sense of it all.

That is why I have so much of a fascination for Sarah Palin, who just came busting through our state a couple of days ago.  For her, everything is simple, and she seems to have a quick, handy answer for almost everything; for even the most complex problems in the world!

Yes, I admit, I often can't understand what she is saying, or what she means.  The times when I think I do understand what she is trying to say scare me even more, as I can't believe any rational person would really want to say something like that when other people may be listening.

This is what she said in Boston on Friday:

"He who warned, uh, the British that they weren't gonna be takin' away our arms, uh, by ringing those bells, and um, makin' sure as he's riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be sure and we were going to be free, and we were going to be armed." --Sarah Palin, on Paul Revere's midnight ride, June 3, 2011

Got that?

Yes, I may be smart, overly rational, and intrigued by complexity.  But my charisma level is just in the average range, and my willingness to get out and humiliate myself in public is in the low-average range, excluding dancing.

But Sarah is an American phenomenon. She is a woman of this time and place. She is a genius in self-publicity, nervy unintelligible pronouncements, and she is off the charts in just plain Chutzpah.

If we could only magically combine our talents, blend together in a quest to right what is wrong with our country and the world.  The whole Israeli - Palestine thing could be settled in a manner of hours.

Probably not enough magic just lying around.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

a note in the chart

R still ends up doing more things for other people than she should.  Her extended family, her current significant other, her kids, his kids, her sister's kids,  have all learned that they can depend upon her too much.  She rallies and does things for them instead of herself.  It makes her feel good, needed and respected.  But it exhausts her, sometimes she knows that they take advantage of her when they should be learning to do things themselves.  It also takes away most of the energy she needs to move her own life forward.