Mark Dworkin LCSW

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Connected or Disconnected?

Technology has helped me become more active– I know that sounds a little backwards– but a good ‘words with friends’ game when I am feeling tuckered really can rev me back up, mentally & physically. But the downside is that sometimes we can become more involved in contacting and connecting with people via electronics & technology we do not do it in person: ie. texting someone in the same house… or even getting caught up in taking the perfect picture to ‘remember’ an event that you distance yourself from the event. I know on days I forgot my camera, although disappointed I would forget it, I was ‘extra’ present in the moment to try to memorize every detail so I could hold on to the memory.

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Today’s Prompt:

  • “I wish this gizmo could track my condition!”  How has technology helped you in your own life? What does ease of use mean to you? 
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Ordinary Inspirations & Top 10

Ordinary Inspirations

Kind moments between strangers: holding the door open for someone, someone giving up their subway seat for another, smiles in passing.

10 Things I Love Most

1. My family.

2. My cultural identification as a “Jew”

3. My Bronx friends

4. My job.

5. Living in this country

6. Traveling

7. Advocating for the rights of the under privileged.

8. Teaching new therapists how to help others

9. Art

10. Rock & Roll

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Today’s Blog Challenge Prompt:

 Write about something ordinary that’s inspiring to you, something simple, perhaps overlooked, that fuels your activism.

 Write about the things you couldn’t live without – list 10 things you need or love most.

Adversity

 “The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all.” – Mulan

True or false? When do you bloom best?

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False. I bloom best sitting on the deck of country home reading a book. I bloom best when I make a fire and it warms the house. I bloom best when I hear one of my ’empower’ songs: “Truckin’” by the Grateful Dead; “My Way” by Frank Sinatra; “I’m Still Standing” by Elton John; “Anything You Want” by Roy Orbison; “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King; “Help!” by the Beatles; “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley; “The Fifth Symphony” by Bevetoben and Tykoskvi’s “1812 Overture.”

Burn Out

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 Write about burnout. What does it feel like? What are your burnout triggers?

 What gets you OUT of the pit of despair when nothing is going your way?

Burnout feels like foggy-brain, like tiredness, fatigue, an inability to think and conceptualize a physiologic sense of heaviness or the desire to run from what I’m doing. My burnout trigger is working too long on the same issue without getting any kind of results or information, only frustration; for example trying to get my scanner to scan a picture for an hour to no avail.

Stopping what I am doing. Physically distance myself from it and go outside. Physical activity will release of the tension and fatigue. I will take a walk around the block. The in-motion body thinks differently. The alternating right foot-left foot stimulation helps to change the way we were thinking and move us from negative to positive. 

Vintage Photo: Wego Health Blog Post

Vintage Photo: Wego Health Blog Post

A photo of me during my depression.

Perfectionism Means We’re Always Failing.

I was reading this blog today: Dear Babies: So You’re Saying There’s A Chance about perfectionism.

Perfectionism is a life-long aliment for me too. 🙂 I think of it this way… (I didn’t invent this, but don’t remember where I heard it from) When we place the bar for ourselves at perfection-level we will never reach it. We will always be far less than. And since we’ll fail every time, we will feel like a failure. -Solution: keep the bar at a realistic height- keep reaching for it. Better still- create different goals, different bars- some reachable, maybe one unattainable, but don’t measure yourself to it. Because we should never measure our worth by the image of what we should be. It feels terrible to always feel like a failure. So give yourself a chance & don’t beat yourself over the head with that perfectionism bar.

Regrets & Forgiveness

  • When I was 19 and depressed, I was irritable, reclusive, and suicidal. I lived in a frat house with a dear friend of mine who was not going to let me isolate. He wanted to help me. He poured a pitcher of cold water on top of my head to get me out of bed and I called him names. But he just laughed at me. I got so furious that I took a swing at him. He was a very strong man and easily blocked my punch, locked my arm behind my back, and pushed me (fully clothed) into the shower so that I would go out with him. In the end I gave up, got cleaned up, and went out with him. I was lucky that he understood where I was coming from at the time and did not get upset or resentful by my name-calling and impotent violent outburst.
  • When I wrote my e-book on depression, I thought about what my life was like when I was 19 to 24. As I reflected I realized that it wasn’t all bad; and there were some interesting incidents. One of them was meeting a young woman who knocked me out. On her Facebook page I was prompted by Facebook, ‘write a story of how you met this person.’ So I did. I wrote the story of how we met, how my knees got weak and how we spent the summer of my 21st year sneaking around. My wife knows all about this woman, our past, and our current friendship in the present. My wife’s best friend called me up and severely criticized me for writing that and humiliating my wife. She continued to berate me on the phone. She said, “I always protect the ones I love.” At that moment I understood where this woman was coming from, especially after that comment about protecting the ones she loved, because her immediately family is very ill (heart problems, Parkinson’s…) I understood that this was coming from the desire to ‘save’ or stand up for all of these people and when confronted with a situation in which she felt her best friend was being harmed, and had some semblance of control, she felt empowered to take action. Now I love my wife very much and I never meant to embarrass her in, I was simply walking down memory lane in what I felt was an innocent Facebook post. After the fourth criticism from my wife’s best friend I stopped the dialog, and said, “enough,” and we terminated the conversation.  Because regardless of why she was lashing out on me, I know that I have to be understanding but I do not have to be anyone’s punching bag. As a therapist I have a moral obligation to work out any unfinished issues so that I can be as clear for my patients as I possibly can so I strive to do that in my daily life.

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Today’s Prompt:

  • Write about a time that you lashed out at someone close to you because of frustration/fear/anger resulting from your health condition and you wish you could take it back. Forgive yourself and let it go.
  • On the flip side, write about a time that someone said something to you that they wished they could take back. Did you forgive them? Why or why not?