One of the best part of my job is the different types of people I see. I am a mental health nurse practitioner btw. Some of my most favorite patients are the big, tough biker guys.
Which is funny really. Mental health is a place of venerability, a place to tell stuff you never told anyone. There are a lot of breakdowns and break throughs. It's awesome.
So how do I get the big, tough, biker dudes to tell me their pain? How to I make them feel comfortable so they can share stuff? It's actually pretty easy.
I'm a nice person. I extend mercy. I'm not judgemental or easily shocked. I have a poker face if I do become shocked but it doesn't happen that often. Ya see, most human beings hurt in much the same ways. Divorce, booze problems, Mother beat me with a stick, Dad didn't love me, both parents were crackheads, etc etc.
I rarely hear anything new. So this pain they've been carrying, that they bring to me, I welcome this. Once they start telling me, they snot bubble cry and hyperventilate and THAT'S when the healing begins!
After a while they start to really get better. They drink less, they don't fight with the wives so much. Depression lifts and anxiety recedes. Then, they start to include the mental health team in their world. Because for so long, it's been them against the world. And sooner or later, they include us on their team.
Then the visits get fun. We can joke, talk motorcycles, sports or fishing. I know nothing of these things. But I love to learn things so they tell me all about it. Plus, the straight talk is a relief.
So many of my patients are in some sort of existential crisis. Not the biker dudes. These guys just need a good kick in the pants. Someone to tell them to knock it off, grow up a little and go to therapy. They respond to directness. It's good times.
So. What made me laugh this time you ask?
So this one guy I see, he's a big biker dude complete with sleeve tattoos. Has a scowl on his face that seems permanent. But he's been seeing me for about a year. He smiles and jokes in the office now. So we start joking and talking about fishing. Then he mentions that can't fish so much on account of his broken hand.
Last week he punched a wall and hit a stud.
Then I says, "Huh, well, we have a new anger management class coming up . . ."
He replies, "Anger management ain't gonna change the fact that the world is full of dumbasses and I gotta deal with 'em!"
(awesome answer I must say)
I laughed out loud at that one. It was so funny. And for him, so true!
good times, good times!
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