Session 29: Yellow brick road

“If I know I’m crazy, does that mean I’m not?”

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Interesting question.  Why do you ask?

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I’m not asking, I’m quoting.  Just read that in a book.

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Psychology book?

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Mystery novel.  About a Thai cop trying to solve a Silence of the Lambs-type murder and practice Buddhism at the same time.*

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And does your Buddhist cop answer the question?

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Not yet.  Can you?

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Yes.  No.

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No, knowing I’m crazy doesn’t mean that I’m not?

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Right.

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Why not?

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Does finding a hole in your tooth make the cavity disappear?

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No.

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Same thing.  We like to pretend we can think our way out of emotional problems.  But recovery takes work. 

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What kind of work?

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Uncomfortable work, usually.

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But why?

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Emotional problems tend to come from avoiding emotional discomfort.   So discomfort is the price of recovery.    

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Discomfort as in…

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Accepting our limitations.  Taking risks.  Becoming honest.  That sort of thing.

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Like practicing the alternatives to control.

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Exactly.  Those all involve tolerating some new discomfort. 

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I’d rather skip the discomfort.

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Most people feel that way.  Look around you.  Met many healthy people lately?

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Not many, no.  But when does it end?

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Recovery work?

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Yeah.

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If you’re doing it right, never.  You just keep growing until you die.

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Never?  There’s no graduation, no Nirvana to attain, no Emerald City you reach?

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Nope.  Just the yellow brick road.

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Great.  So what now?

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You choose, basically.  Keep trying to avoid life’s discomfort, like most people do, or…

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Learn to love the yellow brick road.

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Right.

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Can I get back to you on this?

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therapist (16)

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*The mystery Bert’s reading is The Godfather of Kathmandu by John Burdett (Alfred A. Knopf, 2010).

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5 responses to “Session 29: Yellow brick road

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