Doctors are the same as the rest of mankind: greedy, envious, easily threatened, and dangerous when pushed too far by the sheer. It might include actually naming things each part has done. Thank you, Betsy, for being present when Tim abused me and I wasn't able to stay present. You made it possible for me to stay alive. Eventually, you will be able to see that Betsy is not a separate person but is very much a part of you. Or, as an adult, you might have difficulty tolerating feelings. Thanks, Mary, for setting limits with my father when I am afraid to do so. Someday you will find that you will not have to switch to set limits, because you and Mary will be able to operate as one. The other component is nurturing. If increased internal awareness never occurs, other parts can begin to grow weary of playing their roles, but if you offer time off and appreciation for work done, you can begin to function much like an internal family. It can be extremely helpful to read a bedtime story to a child part, to allow a teenage part to play loud music while you are cleaning house, or to let one part read trashy novels even though you prefer Jane Austen. Editing this article for a final time provided a jolt back to the best way of doing things, the best way of living. You're going to have periods where you regress, where you slowly slip back into bad habits. They're irrelevant. Recognize them, then snap back into the way of life described in these articles. You'll remove stress and worry, and replace it with accomplishment, peace, and freedom. Discipline is the stress-killer. It's the liberator. It's the path of least resistance, oddly enough, because initially the resistance is plenty. Clarity is king when it comes to living a more disciplined life.

Knowing what you really want versus what you think you want or what you're told you want or what a clever native ad insinuates that you should want is a necessity. But to care for humans is to be human and to see the limits and failures and also successes of our small humanity writ large in the struggle to help someone who hurts and fears and just plain is in need. The moral lesson is that this is what our life is about, too, what we must prepare for. I think at heart it's about the simple realities in life that all of life covers over because they are precisely that: too simple, too real. Sometimes I hate what I do, but most of the time I accept it as a way of life that has made me, given me a special vision of our shared humanity. Not always ennobling; But frequently enough as inspiring in a poetical way as anything I have read or heard of. I don't know what will happen to this side of medicine as we make medical practice so highly technical and so dominated by cost accounting, bureaucratic rules, and an adversarial relationship with patients. Perhaps we are killing what is best in this ancient profession, like so much else in modern living. We replace intuition and emotion and moral passion with ever more minute rationality and turn questions about ends--the big ends: death, disability, suffering--into tinkering with technology. Leaving us where? The end result of an affirming attitude is less internal chaos and negative competition, which results in better functioning overall. Some people find it helpful to collect objects that are especially soothing or representational of internal parts. You might have a special area in your house where you keep these things, a kind of timeout room. You might even carry things such as a stuffed animal for a younger part, a religious symbol, a favorite quote, a picture of someone you love, or a healing stone with you in your purse or car. You might adopt a pet to keep you company at home. Different parts might even make artistic creations that help with self-soothing. You can fill your home with these objects to remind yourself that you are safe. These things not only soothe; It can also be helpful to carry transitional objects (remember Linus and his blanket?

Objects such as cards, a small trinket, a stuffed animal, rocks, or shells may help you stay connected to your therapist when you are away from the office. People can be disciplined on the wrong things and lack discipline on the things that, if they were disciplined, they'd have more money, more time, more freedom, more meaning, more purpose, and more happiness. While you've gone through these articles quickly, I'm sure, take time to reflect on this ideal you developed in the early articles of the article. Is it what you really want? If it is, start dissecting down from the ideal, way down to the habits that this goal requires, even to the thoughts that you should think, the desires and feelings you should focus on and pursue, and those you shouldn't. Set time aside to plan, and once the plan is set, do, do not spend too much time thinking. If a thought stands between you and the action you have to take, remove the thought. No dream that you set out to achieve should ask that you be envious. You shouldn't look at your neighbor and want what he has. You shouldn't envy the life he lives or the truck he drives. You shouldn't fantasize about what others have. I don't know. In my darker moments I think we are at the end of medicine as I know it and value it. But then again, you are talking to a crotchety old man at odds with the images of his age, annoyed by an itch he can't locate, a bad spot that burns like all evil but can't be pinpointed. A corrosive, corroding grain at the human core that is pushing us over the edge. A few months later, Dr Bender visited me and we ended our colloquy with a final interview. Just before we parted, he insisted I take down this statement as a final thought on doctoring. Somewhere, one of the rabbis of old said that the world is good if we only don't lose our hearts to it, but bad, awfully bad when we do. Being a doctor has made that seem true to me, not only in the experience of illness but in the experience of doctoring--something we know all too darn little about. You need time away and out from both kinds of experiences.

I guess technically we say you need the mask of medicine, the professional persona, to distance yourself from what otherwise can overwhelm you. I have incorporated self-soothing, centering techniques as well as imagery into my treatment. When I am on vacation, I also offer my clients transitional objects to keep while I am gone. For some, journalizing and drawing have been helpful. I need to continually assess where my clients are and, at different stages of recovery, some techniques are more beneficial than others. You might also want to include things that remind you of other people who love you. Many people have photo albums filled with pictures of people who love them and places that feel safe. These types of things will help you remember the heart connection you have with others if it becomes difficult to feel a connection with your inner self. ORGANIZING INFORMATION FOR FAMILY AND FRIENDS In the early stages of therapy, it can feel lonely and overwhelming to be dealing with difficult issues and an internal system that others are not even aware exists. Some clients say they want to feel connected to people yet fear rejection if anyone gets too close. It does you no good. It turns you into an envious, cynical human which the world has far too many of. Focus on your own journey, your own pursuits, and remember the perfect day you created, the one you can live today. I forget this far too often, the perfect day with what I already have and who I already am. For too long I solely set my sights on how I ultimately wanted my life to be. I dreamt of the ranch, the land, the coffee in the morning on the wrap around porch and the horseback ride with the lady on my first work break. I put myself in the mindframe that I needed these things to have the peace I craved, the accomplishment I desired. When I changed my focus from being dependent on things I do not yet have, to what I have now, I was able to create the structure, the productivity, and the gratitude that we need to perform at our best. What I found, too, is that the day is essentially the same, and that when it's lived, I produce more, I live more, I have more freedom and far less stress, and these grand future goals are brought closer, faster.

When you aim high and then create the structure that allows you to focus on the steps you need to take rather than the summit that's hours away, you're then tasked with remaining present, in the work rather than in a time and place that does not exist, and will not exist if you do not work efficiently, live efficiently and daringly. When you doctor in the practical world of sickness, you can't think about these things. You've got to act. You've got to make tough choices. Say awful truths. Stand there and do things that cause as much pain as they help. Well, but later, at night, you begin to think. No persona or mask then. Then it hits you: all the complexity, the threat to your sensitivity of the realities of personal tragedy and the social consequences of your actions. After midnight, the professional protection is gone. You, you feel very alone, vulnerable. The getting too close is usually a reference to having DID. Many people carry a sense of shame about having this diagnosis and believe people will think of them as odd or sick if the reality of their experience is shared. Sadly, this reaction can happen, but not in every case. You need to think very carefully about whom you want to share your diagnosis with and why. This topic is an excellent one to explore in therapy. It is important to move slowly and be clear about your own goals rather than sharing information with others that you might later regret. Yet sharing information with those who are closest to you, and known to be safe, is vital if you want to reduce the stress associated with hiding your dissociation. Sharing is also a way of getting some of the support you need. It is a form of healthy connecting.