Me and My Shrink
Dealing With What Drives Me

I emailed Chris, my shrink, who was a former student of mine. I wanted to sit down with him for a session together. We meet at different restaurants throughout Chicagoland where I will receive his honest analysis of pending issues in my life. This session’s concerns were a long litany of issues...kind of a psychological soup du jour.

I am haunted by things which lay unresolved in my life. The lack of resolution plagues me until I have addressed the haunting. Therefore, I laid out my psychological smorgasbord on the table while we ate breakfast. There are seven topics some of which relate to each other and others seemingly are unrelated.

  1. Bobby Kennedy’s assassination still troubles me. What if...?
  2. My dancing with death and how those dances affect me still haunts me.
  3. I shared two positive premonitions, which have floated around in my mind.
  4. I am driven to interview the Lady, known to most Americans as Aung San Suu Kyi.
  5. Ginger and Social Security’s longevity predictions about me also haunts me.
  6. My general Weltanschauung is another haunting.
  7. Finally, on occasion but not often enough, I have a quasi-euphoric sense or feeling.

I told Chris that all my hauntings are, in some manner, related to having done the dance with death twice. While I didn’t expect him to explain all my hauntings in one session, which would have been nice, I did want to him to help me explore a means to build a frame around them. It is like putting together my puzzle of life by constructing the frame around the puzzle. Then I could begin the longer process of filling in the missing pieces of my life’s puzzle.

Essentially, I want precisely what Dr. Marchand, my cardiologist, did for me after returning from Burma/Myanmar several years ago. I asked him about feeling wired having just returned from Southeast Asia. He said, “You have seen the light.” In those several years after returning, I have gotten many of the pieces of my life’s puzzle into place. Nevertheless, I need to get all my pieces of my puzzle of life interrelated and reduce my hauntings.

In our two-hour breakfast psychotherapy session, we touched on all the topics. We spent time determining whether my premonitions were dreaming or an active foretelling of some future event. While I wish to resolve that haunting, we got bogged down in attempting to define the difference between whether I was merely dreaming or was my premonition an actual reality. They are interrelated, but where is the line of demarcation between them? It wasn’t long before we moved onto my sense of euphoria.

My euphoric feelings occur on rare occasions, maybe twice a month. I used the term bipolar to describe the sense that I have. I don’t have depressed moments and then times of happiness. It is far different than mere psychological mood swings. They occur very rarely and last for several hours. However, the sensation is haunting. I don’t want to change the moments of euphoria. In reality, I would love to figure out how to have those events occur more often and last longer.

If that desire is beyond the pale, then, at least, I wish to understand why and how to utilize those moments when they present themselves. Chris’ response seemed to come out of nowhere.

Chris stated defiantly that I am into transcendentalism. While his response was quick, my response was slow. I pondered...transcendentalism? Really?

Finally, I responded with a query, “Are you talking about Thoreau, Emerson, Bryant, and those writers of the Romantic Age who were transcendentalists?” While asking Chris whether this is what he was referencing, my mind wandered back a half century ago when I read these writers in high school and had to memorize 100-lines of poetry each semester.

I could only recall parts of the first stanza of Emerson’s Concord Hymn.

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world.

However, Bryant’s To a Waterfowl was verbatim.

He who, from zone to zone,
Guides through the boundless sky thy certain flight,
In the long way that I must tread alone,
Will lead my steps aright.

Before my mind drifted further afield, Chris again pushed that I was into transcendentalism. Okay, perhaps. Nonetheless, I am not well-versed in transcendentalism. I knew only a handful of things that they bought into during their time in the middle of the 19th century, roughly 1820-1860. I could only recall them being non-conformists and intuitive thinkers. Politically, they were fervently anti-slavery and for women’s rights. So, I pushed Chris again, and, again, he restated that I ought to look again at transcendentalism. I promised that I would, finished our coffee, and departed.

I went home, researched transcendentalism, discovering facts that had long been forgotten. However, I am still haunted by the euphoric feelings that I possess.

Bobby Kennedy

Bobby Kennedy

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The Last Lecture

The Last Lecture

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Dancing with Death

Dancing with Death

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My Hauntings

My Hauntings

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An old man and his grandson

An Old Man and His Grandson

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