Rideshare Confessionals: Hope is Medicine – The Good Men Project (blog)


A weekly collection analyzing the human expertise in passengers’ tales as delivered from a therapist moon-lighting as a rideshare driver.


Everybody who will get in my automotive carries a signature tone. Sometimes the load of their tone is heavier than phrases can carry. I picked up a person outdoors the hospital, and worry was respiration by way of his pores. The man seemed to be about 40, however there was an previous man popping out of his face. He was ornery, irritable, the type of passenger that’s going to offer you a nasty score only for being in his life for 20 minutes.

I might really feel his demise saying itself by means of his face. I requested him how he was doing. He answered in a stream of complaints that evoked his ache however didn’t identify it. He stated was having a nasty day, not getting the solutions he hoped for from the docs. To make issues worse, the SXSW Festival was in full swing, so the fare costs have been elevated. He began out bitching concerning the worth of the the experience, which turned out to be a surrogate for his cash considerations which, as all the time, develop into a surrogate for all times considerations.

Complaints concerning the fare advanced into complaints about being over one million dollars in debt for healthcare.

Chronically sick individuals don’t have a lot of an opportunity on this nice nation until they’re properly heeled, and he wasn’t. He’s a struggling musician who is too sick to take pleasure in performing proper now, thus lacking an excellent a part of the pageant. He informed me he’d had diverticulitis some time again, and questioned if this wasn’t a flare up. He admitted he’d been out touring together with his band, having fun with a really poisonous eating regimen, and for the previous couple of months had skilled intense ache in his decrease stomach. Said the ache had gotten so dangerous he can barely transfer.

He lamented that he had exhibits lined up for SXSW however couldn’t take part due to it. The docs can’t inform him what it is. He’s been moving into for exams for the previous few months, operating up his payments, and now they need to order extra exams. More cash, extra uncertainty. More uncertainty, extra stress. The tone within the automotive felt like a cross between a funeral parlor and the underside of a nicely, the worry and despair echoing off the partitions.

I closed the home windows so we might hear one another higher and since it felt like the suitable factor to do. The journey had the texture of a remaining dialog, virtually whispering the best way individuals do at a wake.

I had nothing.  I banged my head for one thing to say that felt “right”, however all I might provide you with was, “Jeez, I’m really sorry you’re hurting so much, brother. I really wish there something I could say to make you feel better.”  Funny, it was the primary time I noticed mild in his face.  Sometimes knowledge isn’t about solutions. Compassion is the sunshine upon the leaf of each plant, and when there’s nothing to say, there’s all the time that.

We drove alongside in silence for a couple of minutes. I mirrored on all of the occasions I’ve recognized myself with terminal sicknesses, solely to find I had… allergic reactions. Sometimes my thoughts likes to place me in my dying mattress as a result of typically it’s simply simpler to surrender. Feeling badly can develop into a nasty behavior. Sometimes claiming life is like lifting weights: it requires effort.

Defeat can pull you down like gravity, dimming your mild. Maybe it’s the thoughts’s means of punishing me for my regrets. Maybe it’s a distorted approach of creating sense of my errors, as if to say, “I’ve messed up so much, I don’t deserve to flourish. I don’t deserve joy, health, and wellness.”  To declare that life, I’ve received to exert that effort deliberately. But first I feel you’ve obtained to name out the demon by its identify.

So, I requested the person, “In your mind what are you afraid it is?”  “Well”, he says, “I have to admit, I’ve been doing a lot of benefits for people lately. A lot of people are dying. Every time I turn around, someone is dying of cancer. So, I don’t know. I. Just. Don’t. Know.”

Sometimes once you need somebody to dig a ditch three ft deep, you’ve received to ask them to dig 12 ft, so I attempted once more, “What does your mind tell you is the worse possible case scenario?”

He comes clear: “ I hate to admit it, but I’m telling myself that maybe I have cancer.”

Yeah. That’s what I assumed. And then, “I’ve got to admit, now that I’ve actually said it, it feels better already.”

I do know of a program that likes to say, “We’re only as sick as the secrets we keep.” The illness isn’t within the secret as a lot because it’s within the protecting. We should be aware of what we maintain.

I requested him, “Wanna play a little game?”


“Imagine you’re God, and you possibly can make the sickness something you need. You could make it one thing that that you can truly be okay with. If you may do this, what wouldn’t it be? “

He thinks for a second, then says, “Well, truthfully it might be only a fuel drawback. Or perhaps my physique is simply poisonous from my weight-reduction plan.”

I disguise a suggestion within the type of a query: “Why don’t you just tell yourself that it’s a gas problem?”

“Good question,” he muses.

“Why not claim health for yourself now? Screw what you’re afraid the doctors are going to say. By the time you find out what it is, it could be months from now. In the meantime you can help your immune system. If you’re going to tell yourself a story, why not a better story? The less you worry, the better you feel, which helps your immune system.” I recommend, “Look, you’ve got to follow doctors orders. But at least until you know what it is, go down to Whole Foods and get a nutritionist. Ask them to put you on a detox to alkalinize your body. While you’re waiting for the results, at least you take steps toward health.”

In shamanic circles, there’s a distinction between a “healing” and a “cure.” Sometimes it’s too late for the remedy. But by no means too late for the therapeutic. And typically the therapeutic results in the remedy.

As we come to his vacation spot, I shut the app off and switch to face him. “You can claim health for yourself right now, no matter what the heck’s going on. You really don’t have to torture yourself by telling yourself you have a disease that you might not even have. Don’t be so quick to die.”

And then a brightness come again into his face, and for the primary time I discover he’s a good-looking man. He smiles as he will get out of the automotive, and reaches in to shake my hand. “Thank you”, he stated. “Really. I feel a lot better.”

I watch a 40 yr previous man stroll into life.




*Names and a few particulars have been modified to guard identities.


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