The Stress Doc Letter
Cybernotes from the Online Psychohumorist (tm)
May 1998, No. 1
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 - email@example.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 - firstname.lastname@example.org. Or check out my website -
www.stressdoc.com - or my AOL/Online Psych Page - Keyword: Stress Doc, The Stress Doc @
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.