I once went to counseling after my Laurie passed in ’01.
To be perfectly honest, I never really believed in it – – FOR ME, that is! I fully understand exactly how helpful & beneficial counseling has been to millions & millions of people in helping them deal with life.
Hey, I like liver & onions. It’s very healthful for you. But I’d venture to guess that most of you guys don’t & therefore, won’t eat it.
Anyway, I was working some incredible hours (12-14 hours a day in the office)…constantly on my PC before work, after work & throughout the weekend (save for a couple of rounds of golf)…and was just diving into my work as an escape mechanism.
“Are you a psychologist, Mike? That was a pretty decent self-analysis!”
“No, but I slept at a Holiday Inn Express last night…”
But I really wasn’t getting much sleep, surviving on caffeine & before long, everything started taking a toll on me.
You never truly realize what you’re doing to yourself until someone else brings it to your attention.
I was strongly encouraged to take advantage of Citi’s EAP/Employee Assistance Program & go talk with a professional.
While I always thought that seeing a psychologist can be extremely helpful for people, it just wasn’t my cup of tea.
No, I’m not any stronger-minded or whatever than most people. Lemme tell ya, that was made evidently clear when later in life, I began suffering terribly from these awful, debilitating panic/anxiety attacks.
I’m guessing that it was some sort of fake machismo shit that hampered me from ever admitting that I needed some help.
At a minimum, someone to talk with.
I finally relented & agreed to see someone. I made an appointment for 10:00 one Saturday morning.
I was scheduled to meet with Hazel “Rosenfeld”…I don’t specifically remember her last name. Yeah, perhaps she could help me with some insights into my situation, blah, blah, blah.
I actually was going into the session with a pretty open mind.
*thinks to self…”open mind”, heh?…no wonder you’re always losing those pesky brain cells*
Then Hazel came out, into the waiting room, to welcome me into the office.
Turned out Hazel was a guy!
The first thing that immediately came into my mind was, “Why the hell didn’t you change your name as soon as you became an adult or go by your middle name instead? H. Jeffrey Rosenfeld or whatever?
I immediately turned off my brain. Well, somewhat.
“I can’t listen to whatever this guy says as it couldn’t possibly make sny sense! Be an intelligent professional & still go by Hazel?!?
“I don’t give a damned shit what your grandfather’s name was!”
Yes, perhaps crude, perhaps gorilla, perhaps stupid.
Not denying that in the least. There are things that I do, or don’t do, for that matter, in my life for some really screwed-up reasons.
I, for example, have fallen victim to the “music syndrome”. I stoutheartedly refuse to believe that any music produced after the ’80s is even worth my listening to it.
No, it doesn’t make any sense, but since it’s in the Oldtimer’s Handbook, I MUST comply!
Naturally, I didn’t mention anything about the name thingie, but I had already completely mentally checked out, though my body parts stayed for the entire hour-long session.
I actively participated, though. Talked up a storm…😱😱😱…but my heart just wasn’t in it.
Hmmm, maybe it was good enough that I did talk & open up. Perhaps my “looking for the magic answer or advice” is not exactly what this whole thing is about.
Maybe the value is derived from the process itself, and not necessarily from any secret insights.
(I only play a stubborn gorilla on stage. 😉)
Not trying to justify what I did in the least. Nor attempting to put a funny spin on it…just tellin’ my story.
Sometimes, my story(ies) can be funny. Other times, informative. (Mostly, 🥱!)
Don’t really know how to categorize this particular one.
Shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, heh?
As such, if you’d like to help me classify this story, you can send in your suggestion to me, along with a SASE, and I’ll be glad to let you know if your entry is a winner! The 1st place prize is amazing!
As always, thank you so much for listening!
Oh, yeah, SASE…that would be a Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope! 🦖 🦕
Come to think of it, I actually did once visit with a psychiatrist (not even a psychologist) when I was younger.
He was an older guy, very well-respected in his field, and was even an accomplished author, having penned countless articles & even a textbook, “The Basic Elements of Modern Psychiatry” that’s still used today in colleges & universities nationwide.
I spent over 3 hours with him!!! (Yes, it cost me a fortune!)
At the very end, he goes & tells me, “You know, Mike, in my professional opinion, you’re clinically insane!”
I couldn’t believe what he just said to me…and I was pretty pissed, too!
“I DEMAND a second opinion!!!”
“OK, you’re ugly, too!”
This is your 🦵🏼.
This is me pulling it…