I had to see my primary care physician because I now have a new one. My doctor of over 30 years left to set up a concierge practice two years ago. His replacement lasted little more than a year and now I am on Doc #3.
All I needed was for my prescription to be rewritten. My prescription for those life-saving little yellow pills. My safety net. But protocol demands I meet the new Doc #3 before she will write said prescription.
I painted her a picture of my current situation. An abridged version of my husband's two-year battle with cancer and his death four months ago. I was crying in the examination room while waiting for her and thought it might be helpful to explain my tear-stained face.
She listened. And then her defining question was, "Do you have family to support you?"
"No, well I have a brother in Ohio."
She looked at me with great concern. "Are you seeing a therapist regularly?"
"Not a therapist, I meet with the Rabbi every other week."
I have to admit I do not understand the question about family and the assumption that family is what you need. Or that they can help. I do have family, it is just that they are not supportive or understanding or compassionate. For those things I turn to my friends... my cats, my horses.
I meditate, work on being in the moment, feeling what is going on with me. I do Tai Chi, I gather support from my friends, I joined a Bereavement Group. I write a blog grief-tears and write here as well. Apparently not enough for Doc #3.
She gives me her prescription: Weekly therapy sessions and the little yellow pill. There was no, "you might want to consider," or "a suggestion"-- it was a prescription to see a therapist.
She said based on what she had heard that a therapist would help me get through the grief faster. I need to be fixed fast? It is now a race? There is a time table? Is a psycho-therapist like a physical-therapist? Have to get there in a timely manner or else...
The top of my head blew off! My anger was over the top. And I flashed back on what I had just been reading before she came into the room in Living Beautifully, with uncertainly and change by Pema Chodron:
First, come into the present. Flash on what's happening with you right now. Be fully aware of your body, its energetic quality. Be aware of your thoughts and emotions.
Next, feel your heart, literally placing your hand on your chest is you find that helpful. this is a way of accepting yourself just as you are in that moment, a way of saying, 'This is my experience right now, and its okay.'
Then go into the next moment without any agenda
Oh I was in the present. And flashed on what was happening to me. I was totally aware of my heart pounding, my breath up around my ears and the anger ready to spew out. I turned away from her and paused. This was a defining moment for me. I was aware. I thought of what I had just read. I thought about the consequences of my actions. I was making a fully conscious decision. This was not reactive. I was taking care of myself.
I told her I was outraged by her comments. "You Do NOT Know Me!" That she did not know what I had gone through and what I was going through. She had no idea how I had dealt with the last two years or how I was dealing with them now. All she had to go on was my request for the little yellow pill. And now she was TELLING me to see a therapist. Not "it is a suggestion" but a prescription.
Doc #3 was taken aback. She thanked me to telling her how I was feeling. Was I being stroked? And she admitted she did not know me. Progress. The therapist was offered as a suggestion. Better. And she wrote the script. Probably to get me out of her office. Looking for Doc #4.