The Troll Under My Bridge

Bridge partially obscured by rays of sunlight

“Hey, Doc?”

“Ummmhmmm?” I was trying to figure out what button to push to get his tetanus booster to propagate into the right field of his health maintenance screen. I had a cuss word on the tip of my tongue that really wanted to get said…

“Are you happy?”

That made me stop what I was doing and look up at him. 

People don’t often ask me that question. Most people just assume that I am super happy. I mean, I do have that nice looking fake wedding ring, right? Plus, there is the fact that I work hard to project joy and happiness for my patients. They don’t need me dragging all of my baggage into their office visit. 

But now that the question had been asked I took a momentary inventory of my happiness quotient. Am I stressed? Sure am.

But, am I happy?

Then it hit me. Yes, yes I am happy. Very happy. You know how I know? Generally, I dislike the holidays but this year I find myself looking forward to them. The sound of Jingle Bells does not make me want to strangle some innocent, unwitting fluffy creature. 

I do my best writing from dark places but right now, I don’t want to go there.

So I say all of that to say that while you may read dark things, like yesterday’s mediocre medical poetry, I am not writing them because I am some shell of a person paralyzed by grief who spends the day curled up in a corner thumbing through a lifetime of regrets. Hardly. I have better things to do. And when I do go to dark places it is not because they are my places. Often I borrow them. And I don’t live there. Not for long, at least! Not anymore.

Today, I am happy. 

Today I am thankful. 


78 thoughts on “The Troll Under My Bridge

  1. I have a dark place, I suppose. I have no idea where it is, how it is populated or how it is furnished, but I expect it is around – someplace. I go to the “frustrated place” fairly” regularly, but I cannot recall having been to the “Dark Place”. I do not mean to imply that my life is happy, happy,,joy,joy – it’s not but I have never experienced the depression or the dark places that other people talk about. Odd – very..

    Liked by 1 person

    • We have to have the full range of emotions in order to experience the fullness of joy and happiness. Otherwise those emotions are meaningless. Maybe for you, frustration is a symptom of your dark place?


  2. Hey Victo πŸ™‚

    With regards to the diverse extent of your personal duties and responsibilities as a Doctor, not to mention your obvious patient-centred approach and professionalism, would you mind if I ask how you personally ‘shield’ yourself emotionally and psychologically against a constant stream of patients projecting their innermost fears and anxieties at you?

    The nature of my own job requires me to have detailed and invasive discussion with vulnerable people regarding welfare provision through state funding. This is often a highly contestable and challenging experience, and on many occasions I am confronted by either abuse or desperation and generally find it incredibly draining, and dare I say impacting on me personally. I am very empathetic by nature, and whilst I strive to remain professional, I am not always successful in detaching myself away from the experience. I recall a lady who once spent 35 minutes ‘dumping’ her anger, hurt and immense upset on me following the very recent death of her partner. It was an experience which ruined my morning, and my mood, and negatively influenced my engagement with other people later that day. I imagine I was slowly releasing the negativity I had inherited from my morning discussion and then either unconsciously projecting that back at others, or defending myself through excessive assertiveness. Generally speaking, my actions are contrary to my character and natural disposition. Your post includes the following line…’ And when I do go to dark places it is not because they are my places. Often I borrow them.’ I wondered if you were referencing similar experiences whilst fulfilling your duties? – hence my opening question.

    And lastly, because I am always curious regarding an individual’s creative process: what determines or motivates you to photograph in either colour or black and white? Is your decision purely aesthetic and artistic or is it more reflective of your frame of mind and hence significant to the underlying theme of selective posts? It is a question I have asked myself before, and I am still not certain of my own answer. I’d like to hope that any absence of colour in my work is a conscious choice that enables me to see structure more readily, a method perhaps of stripping away the superficial and superfluous so as to reveal pure form. I find it a very cathartic experience and wholly wish I could do the same sometimes when life gets a little to ‘complex’ for my liking, if you know what I mean? πŸ™‚

    Sorry to burden you with questions…I imagine you day has been long enough without me adding further to it. πŸ™‚ I’ll take my leave and return again another day…

    Don’t ever change the person behind your words…you are very well thought of and respected, both as an exemplary Doctor and a gifted writer, and more importantly, for simply just being Victo: strong in character, steeled in heart and soul, and brave with your sharing here on WP πŸ™‚ One always finds a smile and a warm welcome when visiting chez Victo πŸ˜€

    Until next time…loaf long and prosper and enjoy the remainder of your week πŸ™‚


    DN – 22/11/2016

    P.S: I couldn’t help myself, just had to share the following poem πŸ™‚

    Keep Dancing into the Light ~ By ~ S.K Lindeman ~

    Keep dancing into the light
    Around the beekeeper’s dream,
    The scent of eternal silence
    Jewelled in a honey tree,
    Almond finger blossoms waving,
    Snow petalled fairy wings,
    Sense a silvery pattern
    Woven from a spidery skein,
    Lightly, lifting like a bubble
    Floating on heaven scented night,
    The web is now unfolding
    Keep dancing into the light.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know that you want a physician to completely shield themselves but I DO use this blog and writing as therapy. A release valve of sorts. When things, stories I hear, get to be too much, I can leave them here and not have to carry them with me. I write about personal feelings here sometimes, but often what I write is about something I have watched/felt someone else going through. I do fictionalize things so as to maintain privacy while keeping the emotion real. As for the black and white photos, I don’t do a whole lot of editing with pictures taken with my real camera (SLR) but my phone allows me to manipulate images very easily. Changing the filter, flipping to black and white often brings out a whole other emotion. Thank you for the thought provoking questions! I hope I answered them adequately. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes thank you Victo, your response is more than adequate and most appreciated πŸ™‚ You have in fact given me pause for thought and offered me much to consider in regard to using creativity as a form of personal therapeutic practice, and external observation as a superb resource for ideas and inspiration. People can be amazing, can’t they? I feel you may have opened a new door of opportunity for me, thank you πŸ™‚

        Sincere best wishes for very Happy Thanksgiving…I trust you’ll have a wonderful day and chance to capitalise on a little well-deserved R & R for yourself πŸ™‚

        Take care πŸ™‚


        DN – 23/11/2016

        Liked by 1 person

  3. If we were all happy dappy all the time, we would not know it because there would be no variation to our lives. Dark is good… so is light. But too much of either one is problematic. thank you for being human. Enjoy your bird day because I know you are thankful all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh I really like this! I can relate due to some of the darker posts I wrote recently. I am happy in spite of them things, sometimes yes I visit there, but don’t stay! Love how you ended your post. “Today I am happy, Today I am thankful!” Happy Thanksgiving to you! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have has some dark days recently but after laughing with everyone in the line outside the liquor store at 9.55 am, suddenly everything feels good again. I am so glad you feel both happy and thankful. I hope you can relax and enjoy your day tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

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