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The Stress Doc Letter
Cybernotes from the Online Psychohumorist (tm)

May 1998, No. 1

Dear Readers,

Do you ever experience PTMDS -- Pre- or Post Traumatic Mothers Day Syndrome? This day can stir up a lot of emotions for many people - whether due to the loss of a child or parent or unresolved feelings between family members. So I thought I'd send along three different pieces to help you cope, including my classic holiday joke. SCROLL DOWN for my article on "Guilt Buster" and my lyric, "Kindred Eyes." Also, my Monday night "Shrink Rap and Group Chat" on AOL (See 2.a below) will briefly address the same topic followed by group support for your stress concerns.

This newsletter is free. And, of course, please forward this letter to interested friends, colleagues and family members, or send along their email addresses. (Also, if you don't wish to receive the newsletter, email me - stressdoc@aol.com .)

"The Stress Doc Letter" features and functions:

1. Psychohumor Writings. To provide you the best of my past and current online and offline writngs, including Humor From the Edge columns and America On Line/Online Psych special topical essays, e.g, The Stress Doc Interview @ Online Psych and Make Your Resolution A Habit With Help From Online Psych! For those not on AOL, if you'd like a copy of these popular series, just email - stressdoc@aol.com. Or check out my website - www.stressdoc.com - or my AOL/Online Psych Page - Keyword: Stress Doc, The Stress Doc @ Online Psych.

And if you'd like a free subscription to Humor From the Edge (email me) or to "The Death and Dying" Newsletter, click here <A HREF="http://www.death- dying.com/">Welcome To Death & Dying...Where Life Surroun...</A> (See, this newsletter will make you die laughing ;-)

Finally, my writings now appear in Perspectives, the electronic magaine of Mental Health Net. MHN is a not-for-profit organization devoted to mental health information and education resources online. They are located at: www.cmhc.com/

2. Special Projects Updates. New or special projects that are flying around or about to be (or have been) launched:

a) I am now leading a twice a month "Shrink Rap and Group Chat" on AOL/Digital City - Washington. It's an online stress support group. We discuss your personal concerns on stress and wellness, relationship and family issues, loss and grief, career transition, creativity and psychological growth, etc., the 2nd and 4th Mondays of the month, from 9-10pm EDT. Next session: Monday Apr 27th. Here's the link: <A HREF="aol://4344:363.gorkin.5732839.568857121">Chat with the Stress Doc</A>.

This group replaces the Frequent Sighers Club which never quite got off the ground. (I still like the name.)

b) The Practicing Safe Stress Program - Led two rousing programs for Human Resources Center/Naval Sea Systems Command These folks are going through a lot of reorganizational changes and a little healing humor is a blessing right now.

c) Led a well-received Rebuilding the Fire: Transforming Burnout into Your Creative Career-Life Path for the Metro Area-Re-employment Project, at the Fairfax County Government Center on May 4th.

d) Wrapped up a highly successful, two month stress and team building program for the Personnel Dept. of the Army Corps of Engineers, HQ. Absenteeism and sick leave usage is down. For more info, call Shelia Dent, (202-761-4857)

e) A lunchtime April 9th program for the Army Materiel Command and AMC Health Promotion generated this letter from AMC Health Promotion Fitness Specialist, Paula Goldman (703-751-7330): "Mark carefully crafted his presentation to our organization by focusing on a major and timely concern: reorganization and downsizing. Participants were engaged in Mark's unique style of humor, and offered high praise on each area of his evaluation. The only complaint about the program was that it was too short.

Particpants especially enjoyed the interactive exercise that Mark facilitated, which allowed them to graphically represent the ways stress affects their lives. This topic aroused great passion, energy and group cohesiveness, since everyone was experiencing many of the same feelings....I highly recommend Mark Gorkin as a motivational speaker."

3. Stress Doc Calendar. To provide an up to date speaking and workshop calendar - what, where and when. Of course, if you know of an organization or a conference that needs a dynamic, thought-provoking and fun-filled program, my motto...Have Stress? Will Travel: A Smart Mouth for Hire!

Speaking of speaking, some upcoming events:

a) a recurring program, Rebuilding the Fire: Transforming Burnout Into Your Creative Career Path in the Metro-DC area at the National Capital YMCA on Sat. May 9th from 1-4:30pm and for four Weds from May 20-June 10. The YMCA is on Rhode Island Ave. and 17th St., NW, Washington, DC. For more info, call the YMCA Program Office - (202) 862-9649. Or, email or call me at (202) 232-8662.

b) On May 13th will lead an all day stress program at the Naval Air Facility, Andrews Air Force Base.

c) On May 20th second part of Rebuilding the Fire: Overcoming Stress, Loss and Changef or Fairfax County Government, VA, Metro-Area Re-employment Project: for Displaced Federal Employees. For more info, call: Marilyn Manno, (703) 324-7390.

e) Here's a heads up for folks in the Metro-Washington Area. Will be leading a workshop for New Beginnings called, 12 Keys to Purpose, Passion & Play on Sunday June 14th from 1:30-4:30. Discover the Doc's Four Faces of Anger Model and matrix for the integration of love, work, play and wholeness. For more info, Carol Randolph, (301) 924-4101.

4. Online Coaching/Training. To promote my Coaching for Consultants and Entrepreneurs Program:

Special Announcement: I am starting a Multi-Media Coaching for Consultants Program: ** developing, delivering and marketing workshop programs online and offline ** humor/speech writing services and website design with the CyberDoc ** online consultation and participation in chat group

For information on the products and instructional services, email me at Stress Doc@aol.com. With questions, call (202) 232-8662 or mail me at:

Mark Gorkin Stress Doc Enterprises 1616 18th Street, NW #312 Washington, DC 20009-2530

5. Award-Winning Website. To remind you that there is a lot more material on my award winning, USA Today Online "Hot Site" website. It's also just been acclaimed a 4 Star, top-rated site, by Mental Health Net, the largest review guide of mental health, psychology and psychiatry resources online today. Go to www.stressdoc.com or <A HREF="http://www.stressdoc.com/">STRESS DOC HOMEPAGE</A> . Also, check out my AOL/Online Psych Page, <A HREF="aol://4344:972.doc.1264535.556723207">The Stress Doc @ Online Psych </A> or Keyword: Stress Doc. Over 100 articles are arranged in 15 different categories:

Stress Doc Bio and Philosophy Stress and Burnout Managing Anger with Authority Power Struggles: Individual/Systems Depression/Teens, Parents... Cyberaddicts Anonymous Good Grief Searching for Love Career Transition Humor: Art and Science Creativity Unbound Achieving Peak Performance Spiritual Exploration Readers/ Submissions

6. Readers' Platform. Please submit questions, comments, criticisms, cutting edge information as well as stories about how you've used humor to help relieve a client's, family member's or your own stress. I will gladly print your offering and credit you completely. (And thank you for using your spellchecker.)

Mothers Day Madness

by Mark Gorkin, the Stress Doc

Guilt Buster

Primordial guilt...Ever feel that no matter what you do, or don't do, somehow, you did the wrong thing or the result will be screwed up? And if, by chance, you feel blameless, then your culpability is confirmed by someone supposedly more astute. Urrrhh. But wait...You can go from being the guilty party to using the "guilt parry" with a "Stress Doc" guilt buster. And it even works on the mother of all guilt complexes!

Around five years ago, at the end of an early December visit to my parents in Florida, I like so many voyeuristic others, was intently watching the Kennedy Smith rape trial hearing. (Isn't it nice to see constancy in human nature?) I had a couple of hours to kill before heading home. My mother had previously announced that she would be leaving early for a tennis date and would not be able to go with my father and me to the airport. Anyway, I'm transfixed by the tube. And while I'm in this voyeuristic state, my mother unbeknownst to me, enters the room. She must have been hovering in the background for awhile. For when I didn't acknowledge her presence she, in a most suffering tone, cries out, "What! You're not going to say good-by to your mother." Wavering between apology and apoplexy, I suddenly cry out, "I can't...I'm paralyzed with guilt."

A faint smile slides across her face. A moral victory for me, at least. And the moral of the story: when it comes to guilt, don't painfully burst a gut...try playfully busting the guilt!

Kindred Eyes

Grandma's eyes age old crystal wisdom Starry eyes to bathe in heaven's light Teary eyes mirrored soulful freedom Cold marble eyes...farewell sweet dreamy nights.

Grandma's eyes, grandma's eyes Warmed your heart like a sunrise Grandma's eyes, grandma's eyes Rays of hope in a sea of lies!

Momma's eyes their brilliance masked the danger Magnetic eyes compel an iron will Towering eyes watched her huddled strangers Such lonesome springs would never get their fill.

Momma's eyes, momma's eyes Her gold stars were the prize Momma's eyes, momma's eyes Why were they so idolized?

Are there laser beams dancing with moon vision Two fire balls blazing hteir own path Buddha blues in the face of confusion Kindred cat's eyes when, oh when, you coming back?

My cat's eyes, my cat's eyes From afar romanticize My cat's eyes, my cat's eyes Are you real or in disguise? Are you real or in disguise?

(c) Shrink Rap Productions 1992

The Stress Doc's Classic Holiday Joke

Mothers Day is like an unofficial holiday, which means my classic holiday insight may have relevance. I decided one must distinguish, at these emotional times, the difference between "Holiday Blues and "Holiday Stress." Now Holiday Blues is the feeling of loss or sadness we have when, for whatever reason, on the holiday, we can't be with those people who have been or are special and significant. And Holiday Stress...is when you have to be with some of those people!

Just remember...Practice Safe Stress!

Mark Gorkin, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, is a speaker, trainer and "Online Psychohumorist" (TM) known throughout the web, AOL and the nation as "The Stress Doc." Mark's "Practicing Safe Stress" programs target stress and burnout, reorganizational change, communications, team building, creativity and HUMOR. The Doc is the "Online Psychohumorist" for the major AOL mental health resource, Online Psych, and for the internet newsletters Humor From the Edge and Financial Services Journal Online. Mark is also a Contributing Writer for the national publications, Treatment Today and Paradigm Magazine. And, the "Doc" is a critical incident specialist for a variety of EAPs. For more info, call (202) 232-8662 or email Stress Doc@aol.com . And check his website - www.stressdoc.com - recently featured as a USA Today Online "Hot Site" and designated a top-rated, four-star site by Mental Health Net.