When I first moved to New York it was a lot to take in. Not the big city itself, the chaos, the tons of people, the shenanigans, the late nights of tomfoolery and the many characters I have met on the streets. No. That stuff I actually really dig and that’s the reason I wanted to be in New York so badly. I love real people and their stories. I think most people that love to write, have a love for life and are just down to earth genuine people do. These people I actually get and seek out.
When I first moved to New York I was working two full time jobs. Both totally different, physically and mentally. I can not stress totally different enough.
I had this thing/rash/ugliness that started growing on my head and spreading rapidly. When I opened the door to the oven, the pain was so immense that it almost brought me to my knees. I couldn’t take it anymore and told the chef that I needed to go to the hospital. When he asked me what was wrong. I slowly lifted my hat trying not to hit the rash to cause more pain. I knew it was bad when I saw his reaction.
Walking into the doctor at the Emergency Clinic he took one look at me and smiled. A doctor walked by and he called for him to come in the room. They both smiled and let out a giggle. “Classic case of shingles” they agreed.
Since shingles generally are a result of stress. The doctor bombarded me with questions to get to the bottom of my stress. The doctor thought I was working too many hours and work was stress. This isn’t the case for me. I’m one of those weridos that actually loves my job and could be there all day. When I’m not there, I’m reading cookbooks and sketching ideas. I’m that guy. My complaint to the doctor was people. I leaned over his desk and in his face I said full of disgust, “I despise the people I work with.” The doctor actually threw his pen up in the air, leaned back in his chair and with a laugh said, “People are assholes. Get over it.”
Probably the most accurate, straight forward and best answer I’ve ever gotten from a doctor. I just froze and stared at him for what felt like an eternity. I’m not sure if I was waiting for him to give a professional diagnosis or it actually sunk in and he was absolutely right.
Since that doctor laid the truth out for me about how horrid people are, I have been to the doctor twice more for anxiety attacks. Once I even had to go to a cardiologist and take a stress test. Which are not fun. Thankfully my blood work always comes back that I’m in tip top shape. Even the people doing the stress test asked me why I would be there for someone in my good health.
When the stress test came back that the heart and blood were good. The doctor asks me, “What’s wrong?”
“I despise my coworkers. Loathe completely. I can’t get past their inhumane behavior.” I say exhausted.
My doctor and the cardiologists response, “You want pills?”
No God damn it!! I want to know why people are and can be so damn awful. I want to know what the hell happened that it’s perfectly acceptable to treat people like shit. I want to know where manners and respect for one another went too.
“Can’t you see that I’m addicted to the notion of a someone who could take me from this wretched state
Save me from the bitterness and hatred of humanity
It’s so screwed up”
Annie Lennox – Love is Blind
I went for my yearly physical, that I now do since I’ve turned a certain age. Old. When my new family doctor asked me if I had any questions for her. My question for her is the same as is all doctors and someone I respect who knows a thing or too. “Stress. When I’m faced with inhumane people who make it their mission to be miserable fucks to everyone around them? What do I do?”
She let out a sigh and turned to me, “Listen, I get it. I have a boss too. We had a doctor that ran our floor years ago who was a nightmare to work with. People were always sick and calling out. After that doctor got fired. People weren’t sick anymore. People weren’t calling out. People are horrible. People are poisonous. People love to get under your skin. You just can’t let it get to you.”
Again, accurate and truthful medical advice.
Sadly this has become the nations and the worlds reality. No, I don’t want to be popping pills to make the horrible people go away. Another drug statistic the government blames for degrading America yet is making the government and the pharmaceutical corporation rich by pushing medication. Another thing to stress about.
No, I’ll never understand peoples behavior and if I ever do it means I’m one of them. Which I refuse to become.
Thanks to these two great doctors and their honest straight forward medical advice. I’ve now been able to identify stress. I recognize it and control it before it consumes me. People aren’t worth jeopardizing my health. They never have been and never will be. I’ve learned to walk away, calm down and focus on myself. Otherwise, I’ll succumb to the bitterness and hatred of humanity.
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