Shelly spent years in her practice. She had helped hundreds of patients, clients she preferred. She would sit in her chair and listen to each and every one of them and their problems. She would listen for the little things that revealed why someone sat across from her. She had decided as a teenager that she would become a psychiatrist, she wanted to help. She wanted to do this because she watched her mother deal with depression and anxiety. She watched her mother spiral into this deep dark pit where she sabotaged her own life, and found herself unemployed. Shelly watched her mother become beholden to a husband who didn’t really love her but felt no one else would love him. Shelly watched this and watched a number of psychologists and psychiatrists try and fail to help her mother. She wanted to be the best in her profession, to help people who were otherwise helpless. Stop others from having to live the life of her mother.
Shelly had chosen Psychiatry because she believed the ability to prescribe medicine, in certain cases, was an important aid to helping people achieve a better life. Shelly now sat thinking of her best successes. The wonderful people she had peeled back like an onion to find why they were having the problems they had. She helped with depression and all kinds of other issues. She was proud she had changed so many lives, saved some lives, put back together marriages and reintroduced people to themselves and their families. She thought she was providing happiness to all these people. It made her smile.
Now here she was, in her early fifties and no one had ever taken the time to peel back her onion and see the layers of damage in her life. So here she sat crying alone, wondering why she couldn’t find happiness herself. Wondering why she had helped so many others but could not take any comfort in that. One of her favourite songs came on the radio and she turned the key in the car. She leaned her seat back and closed her eyes. She was tired peeling of the damaged layers of others to reveal their happiness and never her own.