Shirah Vollmer MD

The Musings of Dr. Vollmer

Archive for March 6th, 2012

Balance

Posted by Dr. Vollmer on March 6, 2012

Leo, fifty-four, divorced, two grown children, financially secure, wants to “get off the grid.” He dreams of living in a remote area, far from “civilization,” but he is afraid he will get lonely and depressed. “That is an important consideration,” I say, emphasizing that although we all need time to ourselves, too much time to ourselves increases the likelihood of withdrawal and apathy. “Trying to find that balance is really tricky,” I continue, understanding Leo’s dilemma. “The rat race is getting to me. I talk to people all day long and although I enjoy my work as a financial planner, I am tired of talking about money all day long. “Do you have a relationship with your clients?” I ask, wondering if the joy in his work comes from helping people, in addition to the mental stimulation of creating strategic placement for financial affairs. “Yes, many of my clients are also my friends,” Leo responds without much feeling. “Would you miss them if you moved off the grid?” I ask, wondering how he feels about the notion of being separated from people he cares about. “Yea, a little, but I still dream of having a simpler existence.” Leo says, again in a flat tone. “Why can’t you have both?” I ask, wondering the obvious question. ” I could, but I don’t dream about both. I dream about giving this life up.” Leo says, with remarkably absent affect. I am perplexed by Leo’s tone. I wonder if he has been so hurt in his relationships that he feels that he has to retreat to lick his wounds. On the other hand, maybe Leo needs to create a safe environment for a while in order for him to connect with his inner being. It is hard to say, as I am just getting to understand Leo. He makes me curious.

Posted in Friendship, Psychotherapy, Relationships | 8 Comments »

 
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