It was a pleasure

TO MY PSYCHIATRIST

Come; do come. Enter into my mind, bringing with you the blessings and understandings of science, medicine and the human psyche, as well as your deep desire to help humanity. Your insight, knowledge, intellect and very being are truly needed and humbly requested by this unsure writer.
I seem daily conflicted and confused by the confusions and conflictions of the day. I may well have lost my way. Help me shed light on, and develop understanding of, these confusions and conflictions. Please, help me heal and find my way.

For my part, I promise:
    Honesty, painful as that may at times be, fully aware success in our mutual endeavor requires it;
    Respect, satisfied I will receive the same from you if I am honest;
    An occasional attempt at humor, to balance this serious situation and provide a healthy reminder that life is (at least at times) to be enjoyed and celebrated;
    A profound appreciation for your listening with patience and equanimity to my at times stumbling descriptions of my conflictions, misperceptions, inconsistencies and inaccurate assumptions.

Already, I am indebted to you:
    For your willingness to set aside the problems of your life in order to consider the tangled problems of others;
    For informing me up front that "This is no Confessional;"
    For hearing my shouts and anguished cries, as I attempted to make sense out of new and frightening thoughts;
    For providing yet more reasons why one should choose life, making it easier to edge carefully back from that awful abyss;
    For your attention and accompaniment, when I was helplessly swept down, or felt it necessary to dive into, the depths of depression and despair, sinking ever downward;
    For your restrained amusement during those times when I did so;
    For your ability to apprehend at least partially the meaning of my fumbling attempt to describe at all adequately the agony of struggling with self, self-denial, self-realization, and the rest of the world;
    For allowing and assisting me as I cautiously explored that murky cauldron of consciousness, with its fathomless deeps and effervescent surface;
    For your acceptance of me as I am;

    For your happy hair, which was courteous enough not to stand on end when I diligently described, I fully agree, some of the most absurd distortions of reality a human mind can conjure;
    For your inviting inquisitive eyes, smoothly and skillfully searching for familiar patterns, unrecognized or denied, that are hidden in this strange patient's face as he struggles with the garbled exposition of his very soul;
    For your exquisite empathic ears, carefully listening to and intellectually identifying with the expressed and unexpressed feelings, thoughts and attitudes of this curious client;
    For your modest nose, which nevertheless managed to gracefully tolerate what sometimes could only have been sheer stench, while this confused client rattled on about some of the universe's least consequential considerations;
    For your memorable mouth and limpid lips, allowing this starved writer to talk, just talk, just simply talk, and say things he can not say to other human beings;
    For your tender throat, through which came a voice and words of much needed simple sanity when, it would appear, simple sanity had taken leave of my mind;
    For your sunny smile and lingering laughter, very therapeutic indeed, on those rare occasions when your "old school" training gave way at one of my few successful attempts at humor;

    For your adept handling of the inevitable manifestation of your profession's occupational hazard, i.e., a confused client falling in love with his clarifying counselor;
    For maintaining that essential balance between intelligent inquiring concern and inappropriate intrigue;
    For your adherence to accepted and generally reasonable ethics (even though there is an understandable "problem" of some psychologically trained, experienced professional experts taking sexual "advantage" of less socially skilled, psychologically inexperienced or injured, unsophisticated or otherwise pedestrian people who by then adore their shrinks), and therefore not taking advantage of this particularly vulnerable patient -- actually, it's just my rotten luck;
    For your talented, trained mind, which easily and naturally maintained proper boundaries, yet unintentionally invited their transcendence with an intellectual liaison, une affaire de l'esprit, with hungry and thirsting thought anywhere it can be found;
    For your tolerance of a not completely successful attempt to limerickize the words psychiatry, idolatry and ophiolatry (the worship of snakes, with metaphoric implications similar to, we agreed, Freud's famous cigar), the only three words ending in -atry according to my rhyming dictionary. (All are invited to do a better job with that tempting, enticing and tantalizing trio of words.) On the other hand, it is the case that psychiatrist has a billion rhymes, with a million potential limericks, all waiting to be revealed or created. What great fun it would be to write endless limericks about one's favorite psychiatrist!

    For your knowledge of the chemistry of psychology and openness to the energy of psychology;
    For your spirit, which daily deals with sick psyches, hurting humans and unnecessary pain;
    For all this, and more, I thank you.

2001 by Rob George

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