Or they could, I suppose, if anyone thought Passover a sexy holiday, which would make for an interesting discussion that we will never have.
Let's start with this.
(1) "Harmless" erectile dysfunction treatment associated with melanoma
No more Viagra for you son. And Laura Berman, a famous sex therapist who has at least one clinic to treat women with sexual intimacy problems, will have to put her prescriptions on hold, rewrite one of her books, too. The results of a new study indicate that penile enhancement medication, also used for female sexual arousal, is linked to one of our worst cancers ever, melanoma.
When I was young there was a song, Nature's Way. Spirit, sings the soulful, ominous warning.
It's nature's way of telling you dying trees,
It's nature's way of telling you soon we'll freeze.
We froze east of the Mason-Dixon line, and to the west, too, last winter. Or shvitzed.
Hearing the association between ED drugs and melanoma I'm humming the song again, seemingly out of nowhere (that's how the brain works, people). We could look at our bodies, and our psychology, as one of nature's finest, most exquisite creations, capable of incredibly creative ideas, achievements. And we think nothing of messing with them.
A chunk of my patient demographic, people in their thirties and forties, barely middle age (forties are the new thirties, thirties the new twenties), impatient with therapy (or in denial) ask their primary care doctors for Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra, etc., penile enhancement drugs. Before this new study the docs couldn't say with certainty: The drugs are bad for you. Work on your relationships. As long as blood pressure and heart rate were relatively strong, they caved. So now they can say that. The drugs are bad.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is nature's way of telling you something's wrong, probably with a relationship or an understanding of sexual relationships. Or the mechanics of sex. The most common cause of ED is anxiety, not only performance anxiety, but any kind of anxiety, and often, guilt. And anger.
Melanoma tells us something's wrong with the pharma treatment, too. The problem, if it is not vascular, is psychological or educational. ED drugs treat a symptom. They are a bad idea, the wrong way to treat the problem, if it even is one.
We can discuss the right way another time. I've got to get ready for next week's holiday.
(2) The Holiday Blues
Everyone knows that during the holidays, especially the first ones after the loss of a loved one, we're more vulnerable to depression. Just when we're supposed to be happy, a brick falls on our heads. There's no denying it. We remember faces sitting around the table, singing songs, smiling. These are good memories, and when we think about it, surely a blessing, a good opportunity to add to the positive memories, the legacy, of people who made such a difference in our lives.
Of course, if I believed that, it would be a sign I'm not a therapist.
In fact, the stress of the holidays, the togetherness, brings on bad memories often, and the worst in people, especially if more alcohol is consumed than usual. The legacy memories, for many of us, aren't always good.
But for some of us they are.
Good or bad, the mental deluge, the stimulation of anniversaries, always has an effect. Great stuff to talk about at parties. (See video link below).
For me, being busy before a holiday also implies cooking and baking, happy busy which is productive, too. In this creative process, inordinate amounts of time are spent trying to remember the things my mother cooked and baked, reading over her recipes, tattered, but written in her beautiful cursive script, soon to be extinct, oil and batter stained (not her fault). I experiment like she did, write it all down. On a computer, obviously. Who has a index cards? I envy those of you who do.
Passover, one of the biggies when it comes to stress, is upon us. The office is closed for 8 days. You will see us at the zoo and the museums, sprung from the drudgery of everyday life.
But if you want to know what this holiday is really all about, you eat matzah. (These we buy at the store, hardly anyone makes them anymore, the rules of baking proper Passover matzah are too complicated.). No matter how ad agencies might make it sound, the stuff is nearly indigestible without lots of butter.
Matzah is the Passover food because it is difficult to digest, unleavened, no yeast allowed, the quintessential symbolic food of modesty. This is a low food, a symbol that reduces us to tears (let's not go that far) by the end of the week. The idea is to get the leaven out of our hearts, recognize it really isn't all about us, and that we're not the ones to thank for our successes, can quit patting ourselves on the back. After all, only a few thousand years ago we were slaves in Egypt, enslaved for a long time, over 400 years. We couldn't have got out on our own. Passover celebrates freedom from slavery and the Creator who made it happen in spectacular fashion. (The story is mind-blowing, as Cecil B. DeMille rightly tells it in The Ten Commandments).
All that to link over to an irreverent video that made me smile. Sean Altman sent this pitch:
I follow your blog. Please enjoy my REAL story of Passover — JEWMONGOUS' new music video "They Tried To Kill Us (We Survived, Let's Eat)" http://youtu.be/
Oh, and the Passover Brownie recipe.