Monday, November 24, 2008

Statistical anomaly

I had a remarkably good day at work -- all 11 long hours of it, and I was tired every minute. What made my day so good?

1. I still have a job, after 4 consecutive days' absence. I won't get paid because I'm out of sick time, but I'll tell that to MVAIC when I file my claim.

2. No pain. No knee pain, no back pain, no stomach pain. Miraculous. All without painkillers -- even without the super antacid samples my doctor comped me last week.

3. Antisocial hour. I meet with my psychopathic client and my antisocial personality disorder client back-to-back. They're hilarious. Without trying. When I'm with the psychopath, I feel like a clever psychiatrist in some elegantly scripted film noir, skillfully tripping him up, eliciting information he doesn't want to give. It's exhilarating. I guess forensic clinicians never forget their first psychopath.

Of course, this is mentally exhausting, and I can only take about half an hour before I weaken and start giving him what he wants -- a very few of my personal thoughts, feelings, opinions. He's able to start twisting what I say, trying to turn it against me. I don't let him, but I don't know how well I'd last in a longer session. Fortunately, half an hour is all the time I have for him before I have to meet with the other antisocial client, who's no less grandiose and manipulative but far less glib and skillful, whose lies are easily unraveled and machinations are easily balked.

4. The client I yelled at, who spoke with Clarice about me, has completely forgiven me and trusts me 100% again, relying on my support and comfort -- he's going through kind of a tough time right now. It's nice to be needed, and even nicer to be forgiven.

5. I graduated a client who was a hot mess when I got him -- anxious, desperate, one millimeter away from picking up. (In addiction parlance, "picking up" means starting to use again.) Now he's clean, has a decent job, a terrific girlfriend who doesn't even smoke cigarettes, and a nice place to live. And he's spending tons of time with his kids, who've been separated from him for years. He moved out of the borough where I work, so I'm going to find a low-cost or free counseling service for him near his home. As nice as it is to be needed, it's even nicer not to be needed any longer.

Of course, I came home to a statement from my insurance company that they're not going to pay one red cent of the $913.03 the hospital billed them for. Why the hell do I pay health insurance premiums if they don't pay my bills? Now I really have to file that MVAIC claim. On cue, my back started hurting again.

But it was nice to have an entire day when I didn't think about killing myself. Over the past week I felt like I did that more each day. I hope the pain doesn't get worse, and that tomorrow is a decent day. Can't expect it to be good -- statistically that's very unlikely -- but decent, at least.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"


  1. Small miracles. Maybe not even so small. I'm happy you had a good day. May you have more.

    Also, this seems interesting - i wonder what you think re: whether it's a new riff on an old theme, or a completely new phenomenon.

  2. During the Cold War, people thought they were being pursued by the KGB or CIA. Delusions arise from activity in the brain, and they're interpreted against the background of the surrounding culture. I heard about a psychiatric patient who was afraid to answer the phone because she thought she'd be sucked into The Matrix.

  3. Lately, "health insurance", seems to mean "maybe we'll pay some of your bill."

    Politicians need to stop just talking about the uninsured and also address those who have supposedly "good" health insurance and still get claims denied all the time.

  4. That's so cool! And insightful. Shades of Jung! I love that you know this stuff :)