Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS • Nutritional Periodontist
November 13, 2017
All three of us are in our 70s. From the age of about 30 until the age of 60, we knew each other very well. Our lives and families were socially intertwined.
Karen and Beth were both married, each with three children. My wife and I have two children. All eight children grew up and went their separate and successful ways – all dispersing to various parts of the world. One of Beth’s children is an international interpreter for a major corporation in the Far East. Karen’s son is a US Air Force Colonel currently stationed in Europe.
Just before Beth’s 59th birthday, her father-in-law passed away, and her husband inherited several pieces of property in the Los Angeles area. Beth and her husband decided to move to LA to oversee the properties. Karen stayed in Charleston.
Beth and her husband enjoyed their new home and their new lives. Beth, her husband, my wife, and I kept in touch and have visited each other a few times since they moved West.
Unfortunately, here in Charleston Karen’s marriage was falling apart. Karen divorced shortly after Beth moved to California. The divorce was ugly and messy for Karen, and it left many scars for her.
Following the divorce, Karen’s life took a turn – a turn that would lead her down a path of depression, anger, and disengagement.
Karen started blaming others for her misfortunes. She couldn’t let go!
She began creating false stories about her friends and family members to insulate her from her depression. Karen spoke about Beth as if she abandoned her. Karen couldn’t let go of little incidents that upset her years ago. She was unable to forgive those whom she felt wronged her in the past. She dwelled on hurts from the past and could not see anything constructive in her current relationships. Karen began to accuse me of not being a good friend. She would not let me into her life anymore. No matter how hard I tried to engage her in conversation, she would have no part of it. She became angry, creating a stressful situation between her and me.
Today, she has isolated herself from some of those who truly care about her and has erected a wall that I have found to be impenetrable.
So, what does all this have to do with the here and now?
I write about the four pillars of health – the essentials for “Crazy-Good Living”. These pillars of health include nutrient-dense foods, restorative sleep, efficient exercise, and reduction of stress. All four pillars must be in place and constructive to have a healthy and quality life.
One of those essentials is the reduction of stress. This includes avoiding self-imposed stress that is created by rejecting friends’ overtures to be friends. From what I see, Karen made up stories that her friends did not care about her, and she internalized anger and pain stemming from her divorce. All this self-imposed stress was destructive. She became a self-created victim who was alone and depressed. What a shame. Karen could not let go.
I am not a psychologist, but I know that stress can be as destructive to one’s body as malnutrition. Unfortunately, I have not been able to help Karen. Karen still believes the stories she has created, which has alienated some of those who were close to her. Those stories have weighed her down like heavy baggage. These stories continue to be Karen’s downfall.