Quest for Inspiration

    I think I really am through journaling for real this time. . . 

at least on a consistent basis. The venture was without a doubt therapeutic for me over the past five years whether my posts were read or not. If nothing else this medium helped me to formulate thoughts and emotions associated with my unique experience of life and produce a somewhat concise documentation on a consistent basis. Often I suggest to a patient that we should not be the same person we were 5 years previously. We should be better through the process of personal growth which primarily comes about through experiencing and learning from mistakes and practicing what one has learned. What comes next?

A couple of years ago I watched my father reach the end of his life. Now I'm witnessing my mother gradually approach the same inevitable fate. Rarely does a work day pass that a patient does not inform me of a recent loss of a loved one. All the while there is news on the TV or Radio of someone passing unexpectedly or prematurely. These realities remind us that we have no control whatsoever over death but must accept it as a constant reality. The one thing we have full control of is the choices we make with the life that we have. Our time is much too short for bickering and persistent anger. Every day is a gift and being alive the ultimate honor.

In my line of work I am brought down emotionally most by seeing the attack of human potential by soul shattering sexual, physical, or emotional abuse or chemical addiction. Abuse victims that are genuine seem to command the most empathy because often they had no choice in the matter but must learn that now they do have a choice of how to deal with the damage. Addicts that suffer silently are not a problem. Addicts that draw others into their distorted and often chaotic world unnecessarily really bother me. Drug and alcohol addiction are essentially suicide in slow motion. Suicide is often viewed as the ultimate of selfish behaviors since it usually involves exclusive concern of only the pain of the suicide victim and disregards the pain of the survivors. Addicts essentially think the same way and are selfishly concerned only about relief of or avoidance of their own pain. Conversely, addicts tend to indirectly or directly abuse those closest to them through continuing to allow themselves consumed and altered by their drug of choice. The child with the addicted parent may never know that parent for their true self during their childhood. That time is forever lost.  As an adult that child may have to forgive and learn to accept and love that parent for who they have chosen to be, flaws and all. This is a challenge but on rare occasions I have been fortunate enough to witness it happen.

I think the most valuable lesson with addicts insincere about recovery is that no individual has any meaningful control over them for they have little or no meaningful control over self. The sincere recovering addict understands the work required in order for their life to change. They are willing to attend as many meetings as necessary, enter any program recommended, and accept that there is not an easy route to recovery. Most important of all they can see where they are headed with continued use and what will be left behind and possibly not recoverable.



   The Headoc had thought that maybe the time to put the journal to rest was here. . .

The 5th Anniversary was less than a month ago. Just that was a personal best for making a commitment to something and following through with it for that amount of time. Face Book seems to have rendered the format obsolete. So many things have transpired in the last 2 years that The Headoc has become unclear of purpose and mission within the Blogosphere. A better understanding of the process of change has been reached. A more clear understanding of individual limits achieved.

There actually are probably more subjects to explore than ever but the motivation has seemed to slip away. Where did the angst and fervor escape to and will it return? Is it even necessary? For so long there seemed to be a hidden and mysterious enemy that required defeat. Chivalry was not dead it seemed. It turns out that the only enemy there ever was has been ignorance to truth. Sometimes we cannot handle the truth. Some of us choose and prefer denial at different times in our lives. The media, the government, and corporate America thrive on our obliviousness to reality and our fears. An internet hoax earlier this week showed a short video of a Michael Jackson double rise from the back of a Coroners wagon and walk away. The news spread across the internet and thousands believed he was alive. The person making the video did it just to prove a point of how gullible people can be.

It's amazing how people have allowed healthcare reform to become so politicized and so polarized when many don't even understand the facts of the matter. The Headoc is upset at how doctors have become increasingly marginalized in the matter. Shouldn't healthcare be about patients and doctors being able to do what they do? Why are the major players mostly lawyers, managed care corporations, and pharmaceutical companies? I'm sure that money has nothing to do with it. Wrong! The Headoc wishes the President good luck but optimism is not high. The Headoc is more specifically concerned about Mental Health Care Reform. Thus far such reform can be looked at as chemotherapy in a cancer patient and the proposed cure will probably be worse than the metaphorical disease. It appears inevitable that the situation will worsen before it improves. Our leaders will eventually be forced to realize that it will be more cost efficient to provide enough funding to do it right instead of searching for the cheapest way out. I don't think our jails and correctional institutions will make the best public mental health centers as they appear destined to become.

 Life situations of late appear to have wrestled The Headoc into submission, at least in the area of written expression. He is bound to regain his bearings and return to the blogosphere rejuvenated. Time will tell. Thanks for your past support.


So Hard to Say Goodbye

 What a week . . .

I didn't know Ed McMahon was still alive until hearing of his death, I was saddened deeply but not too shocked by Farrah's passing, and I still can't believe Michael is gone. Not to even mention pitch man Billy Mays and a couple of other prominent personalities that left us in the past week. What is this, the rapture or something? I heard an interesting quote from the Kung Fu Panda movie. "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift which is why it is called the present." To me that about sums it up. A friend once offered some advise on coping which was to always remember "it's not about you." I took this to mean that there is always a much greater plan at work than our own personal trials and tribulations. In the end everything is guaranteed to work out but karma is an essential ingredient.

Since I was 11 years old Michael has been a part of my emotional and mental make up. In 1969 there was nothing like the Jackson 5. I remember every single recording in sequence to this very day. I could most easily identify with Michael because he was the center of attention and was just 3 months my senior. Everyone adored him as an adolescent. That's the Michael I love most. Every boy wanted to be him secretly. I thought it was so cool when girls told me I looked like Michael Jackson.

MJ remained a presence throughout my college years and in my opinion was at his peak during the Off The Wall period. He still embodied adequate masculinity appeal not to trigger emotional insecurities or discomfort within most male fans during this time. Something seemed to happen during the Thriller years through the Bad album debut. After the Bad promotion I felt no longer able to identify personally with MJ. Physically, I would have found it somewhat offensive to be compared. In retrospect, I believe this is the period when MJ began to transcend race and gender in a way never accomplished before. I was not pleased but over time became able to understand better and appreciate where he was trying to go.

I always felt bad for Michael when he was misperceived and misunderstood or when harsh jokes were made about him. It was quite a sacrifice to forfeit ones childhood in order to give to the world his gift of music and entertainment. Plus having to deal with the issues involved with family, friends, and socialization. I don't believe any of the hype about him molesting children. I believe he longed to be a child and could identify closely with the innocence and honesty possessed by children and pets. I understand how when a person reaches a certain status there is no where to go but down. The media is one instrument often involved in this process.

Joe Jackson commented that he wished most of all that Michael was alive to see the out pouring of emotion across the world since the news of his death broke. Often we don't recognize the true value of something until it is gone.