A week after I’d learned that my GP Dr. Ellis had retired, I was at my regular appointment with my psychiatrist Dr. Khan.
I told Dr. Khan about Dr. Ellis – and then Dr. Khan told me that in a month or so, he would be retiring as well.
No, there isn’t any connection – but like Dr. Ellis, Dr. Khan is elderly, and of course nothing lasts forever.
Still, I am sad to see Dr. Khan go, as he’s had an enormous impact upon my life.
Since mid-2007, I’d spent most Thursday afternoons going to Dr. Khan’s office in a nearby suburb for 30 minutes of therapy.
At times it was very confronting and difficult, and sometimes we didn’t agree – but overall, it was very rewarding. Thanks to talking things out with Dr. Khan, I gained much more understanding about my problems and – most important of all – I learned how to deal with them.
It was Dr. Khan who advised that I read Eckhart Tolle’s The Power Of Now – and although I never finished reading that book, what I did read changed my life forever.
Dr. Khan was also the first person I confided to when I hit financial disaster in late 2010, and he advised me towards voluntary bankruptcy and beyond.
As well, there were the interesting experiments like eating a sultana for 5 minutes, and focussing completely on that and nothing else.
Dr. Khan was not the first professional I went to for therapy, but he helped reinforce the notion that visiting a psychiatrist or psychologist is just like visiting an accountant or lawyer – you’re getting an expert’s knowledge to help resolve a complex or difficult situation.
As well as seeing Dr. Khan himself, there were other factors about our Thursday-afternoon sessions that I looked forward to.
One factor was that it was a welcome break in my weekly routine, especially after I began working from home full-time in October 2010. Working from home has lots of advantages, but at times it can be very boring and isolating (it’s also one of the main reasons why I dine out most nights).
Another factor was that Dr. Khan’s office was only a few doors down from a railway station, and from there I had quick access to other places, which in turn led to several more efficiencies in my life.
Yet another factor were discoveries I made in the neighbourhood around Dr Khan’s office. For example, there was a very quiet pub a few doors away that was mostly empty on Thursday afternoons, and several times when I was too early for appointments I killed some time there with a diet cola or two (I’ve never been much of a drinker anyway, but alcohol before appointments with a psychiatrist never seemed like a good idea).
Initially, it had looked like Thursday next week would be our last appointment, but as it turned out yesterday was my last session with Dr. Khan.
We finished our last 30 minutes together, we wished each other all the best and shook hands, and I stepped out of his office for the last time.
I began walking up the street towards the railway station, but a moment later I stopped and turned to look back at Dr. Khan’s office for the last time.
It was the end of an era, indeed.
A moment later, I turned ahead and continued to the railway station.
Another era in my life had begun.
Dr. Khan, thank you very much and all the best.