I just listened to Steve Hofstetter’s latest entry in his new podcast Failing Forward. It featured the first guest that was not a comedian or a performer but he is someone who is very successful in his field and naturally, had some down points in his life.
His name is Dr. Mark Goulston and you can listen to the podcast on the link I provided, or you can watch it on Youtube.
Mark has experience with suicidal patients and he has made a name for himself by simply being someone who understands that people are not carbon copies of himself. He is someone who actually has applied the concept of “listening” to his profession and you’d be surprised how rare that is – especially among the mental health crowd.
Reaching out to someone is very difficult for me. My experiences with therapy can be summed up like this. I talk to them, I explain everything as well as I can, and by the next session it’s as if I wasn’t even in the room. And the excuse is always the same; They’re only human. They put their pants on one leg at a time. Except, no one has charged me three hundred dollars an hour to put their own pants on. So that excuse just doesn’t fly with me.
Mark is human, too. He has been depressed and suicidal. He overcame it with the help of a compassionate influence in his life who was probably just as human as he was. And he turned it into a career that has helped billions of people worldwide and he probably puts his on pants on just fine without expecting a cookie.
People in my life have projected their fantasies and ideals onto me and blamed me when I didn’t measure up. It may be the core of why I can’t always accept when I have done something right, like losing weight. I have come to associate the positive feelings of accomplishment with a negative backlash by someone else who expected me to do more. It has caused me to constantly doubt myself and maybe hold myself back from opportunities that might well have worked out for me. Listening to Mark’s story and knowing what he has done with his life, reminds me that I am also human.
That’s what made me smile today.