14 August 06

Psychotherapy with Dr. O'Malley # 5 (continued)

“I’m not sure.” I said. “In high school a lot of the boys grew bigger and taller than me, and I felt inadequate. Getting mauled by some of the rugby players didn’t help. As I grew older I got along better with girls. I was always a wheeler-dealer from a young age, and that drive got stronger, much stronger into my early twenties.”
“Why do you feel you were driven to acquire material things?”
“I guess I was a bit of a show off. I equated material items with being cool. I was immature.”
“So you were mesmerised by external things, and you didn’t give much attention to your inner core. There’s a part of you that wanted to attract attention, and material things would generate attention from others. You have to realise the essence of a person has nothing to do with being attracted to money and things. Look at the Dalai Lama. He looks like a regular old fella. But he’s very charismatic. You need to find your internal self and you need to ask yourself what person do you want to be. Drugs aren’t going to do that for you. Not peyote or mescaline or LSD. Hallucinogens may fit into certain cultures, but in our culture they don’t make sense.”
“Does all the alcohol and nicotine consumption in our culture make sense?”
“Wasn’t that a scene you were part of?”
“No. We were a counterculture. We dressed outrageously. Our music sounded like signals from outerspace. We were rebellious. We sneered at mainstream – even mainstream drugs. We were out to shock the world.”
“You wanted attention.”
“I got attention.”
“But it didn’t work out. Everything you did was a step on the path that brought you here.”
“That’s true.”
“With increased mindfulness you can learn from the previous negative things you did and determine what things are going to be beneficial to you. You’re able to start afresh.”
“I agree.”
“Now let’s discuss your thought journal. When you were in class you applied breathing at the end of each sentence and you did well, but when your buddy instigated a play fight you got mad. Instead of getting mad you can train yourself to concentrate on your breathing, just like you did in class.”
“You’re right. But it’s easier said than done.”
“Absolutely. But you need to think about breathing, and to be able to analyse your thoughts in all uncomfortable situations. When you take a deep breath you get a useful response: your adrenalin doesn’t pump in as much. I see progress in your thought journal throughout the month until the last entry.”
“Detecting that lump brought on anxiety and embarrassment.”
“Do you think it could be something that could cause your fatality?”
“I really don’t, but I’m aware of a slight chance of it being cancer.”
“So there’s a nagging doubt?”
“Yes, but its mostly embarrassment. I’ve got to have an examination. I can’t image people looking in my arse.”
“It there’s something wrong with your car, you take it in. You shouldn’t be embarrassed if your engine’s leaking oil. The mechanic has seen engines that look better than yours and he’s seen worse. Health providers find solving bodily problems interesting - just like I find the brain and behaviour interesting. The bottom line is: your embarrassment is all in your head.”
“I realise that.”
“Good. But do you realise this anxiety has driven you all of your life? You need to become adept and to learn to listen to your anxiety. To know when things make sense and when they stop making sense. For homework, I want you to not only listen to how you talk to yourself but also to notice, and to write down, when anxiety causes you to cross the fence into irrational thoughts. And remember to breath. Long deep breaths. Make Darth Vader noises if you have to.”
I laughed and thanked him for the session. It seems I’m making more progress with Dr. O. than Drs. A. and B.. What do you think? How do you feel Dr. O.’s advice about drugs compares with Two Tonys’ advice?

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Copyright © 2005-2006 Shaun P. Attwood


Anonymous said...

Hi shaun
2 tonys advice is practical in a hardline street thinking way ..its true to the core and its in your face no strings no bullshit sound advice ..but to actually heed those words and live by them you need the tools that doctor O can provide you. You’re a deep thinker from what I have read about you you seem the type to almost out think yourself at times as long as 1+1 is two in your mind anyway its sliced you seem to then work the solution. (along the same lines of your conversation with Shane) 2 tonys is a different personality (more street) and problem solving for him has been done through that method with some degree of success or lack there of through his life. To each their own as long as the ends meet the need
Very best regards

Anonymous said...

I agree with Dr O.

Anonymous said...

I agree with what Sean wrote. I would have said pretty much the same thing. Solutions to ones problems are unique. No one solution works for everyone. You must adapt it to suit yourself in order to achieve success.
And I do hope you find it success in your life when you get out.

Anonymous said...

Hi Shaun,

After the recent incarceration of my best friend, I started research on prison life and found your blog, which I have been reading with great interest ever since. It's hard to put the computer down. I am so glad you have written it. By the way, someone needs to write about you in Wikipedia!

As for the drug advice, I would say Two Tony's advice is the more useful, especially when you are faced with a situation that requires an instant reaction. Two Tony's succinct and well-reasoned advice should be in the forefront of your mind, with Dr. O's advice helping to strengthen your convictions.

Anonymous said...

The advice of both is the same, and the same as as the advice I will give. I have no little personal experience. Avoid any chemical that causes a change in mood, be it drugs, alcohol or medication. Avoiding them is far easier than trying to control them, believe me, and they will always overpower you eventually; but only if you take that first pill, drink, whatever. You have the wiring of an addict and there is nothing you can do about it.