Friday, September 21, 2007

Physician, Heal Thyself

I have a pediatrician friend (Dr. JS) that is struggling. First of all, the responsibility that comes with being a pediatrician is difficult for me to imagine. By all accounts, he is a dedicated, fabulous doctor. I know for a fact that he's brilliant. Yet, despite that, he can't seem to help himself from his own personal hell.

I won't go into all details as to why I say he is struggling but suffice it to say I am extremely worried that he will just have the "grabber" and we'll lose him. In the meantime, he is so miserable that those that call him friend find it easier to just stay clear of him. This, of course, leads him to lament his lack of friends. Note to JS...you are driving them away.

He hates his job and has for quite a while. The medical profession is not as lucrative as it once was. Still, I know he earns more money than most Americans ever dream of making. He hates his life. He works way too hard. He takes pride in telling me that he sees more patients than anyone in the sizable clinic group that he is part of. If I'm not mistaken this is a choice he has made. He points to that fact that he needs the money, which is bullshit. All I ever get from him is "negative, negative, negative", "poor me, poor me, poor me". It's hard to take. To quote a line from Jackson Browne "It's whatever it is you see that life will become". He has created his own personal hell and unfortunately his family and friends have to endure the heat to have contact with him. Ahhh...no thanks. Life is too damn short. Note to JS...think about that Jackson Browne line. The mind is a powerful thing....

My belief that there are basically two ways to look at your life and that only one of these ways is healthy.

1. Be grateful and appreciative for that which you have. (Mostly positive)
2. Always be disappointed because of things that you don't have. (Never positive)

JS is a #2. We were playing golf a while back at one of the most beautiful courses in the US and while we were playing he was lamenting the fact that he doesn't get to play much golf. Huh? Could you at least enjoy the golf you ARE playing and bitch after we're done. That is whacked but shows that he is unable to enjoy anything. Ugly.

I think that I am a #1 all the way. When I didn't have $10 to my name, I can't remember feeling any different than when I had a bank full of money. I guess I choose to get to content no matter what. I am grateful that my makeup allows me to make that choice. I realize it's not that easy for many people, my friend Dr. JS included. Broke and happy ain't that bad. Rich and unhappy has to suck as much as poor and unhappy. Money and things just don't get it done. If you think they do, you need a new road map.

If you think you are a #2, figure out a way to turn it around. Perspective can be a wonderful thing.

I realize this is a very complicated situation but I needed to vent a little. I have no tolerance for self defeating behavior. At the same time, I love my friend and his suffering wife and would love for him to begin to enjoy his family and the rest of his blessings. I have purchased a couple of self help books that I am going to give him for his birthday. I don't care if he gets angry with me or sloughs off my attempt to wake him up. I feel I need to do something. Note to JS...you have many that love you. If you don't turn things around you will continue to be lost to them.

1 comment:

Barbara (aka Layla) said...

Blogs were meant for many things, and venting is at the top of the list!

I do hope your friend feels better. Depression is horrible.