”The attempt to escape from pain is what creates more pain.”
– Gabor Mate’
June 19, 2023
The Office of Dr. Janice Strickland, MD, PsyD
A psychiatrist’s office is meant to be a serene and welcoming space designed to provide a safe and comforting environment for individuals seeking mental health support. The room’s furnishings are carefully curated to promote relaxation, confidentiality, and a sense of tranquility.
On this day, these things would be optional. Her client, a man in his mid-forties, had reached out through a video session, and offered to pay in cash, not that the payment was paramount. It was, however, surprising to see the face on the other side of the call.
She had treated Dan Ryan four years prior. He had been having a near-psychotic episode which, with treatment, he eventually emerged from. Upon writing her report, she noted:
“Within the depths of the human psyche lie unseen forces that shape our thoughts, emotions, and actions. For this patient, these inner demons have begun to exert their influence once more, threatening to overpower his resilience and drive him to the brink. This report will delve into the profound struggles of an individual grappling with his inner turmoil, exploring the complexities of mental and emotional battles. It unveils the relentless pursuit of self-redemption, as the man confronts his darkest fears, seeking solace and liberation from the clutches of those demons.
In his current state, the man’s new journey takes root in the gradual re-emergence of his worst impulses. They lurk in the shadows, whispered echoes of past traumas, self-doubt, and suppressed emotions. Like stealthy predators, they prey on his vulnerabilities, gradually chipping away at his sense of self and emotional stability. As the weight of his unresolved issues intensifies, the man finds himself at a crossroads, torn between surrendering to his demons or summoning the courage to confront them head-on.
The battle with his inner demons unfolds as a relentless internal war. Insidious whispers amplify his insecurities, fueling self-destructing thoughts and feelings of worthlessness. Anxiety tightens its grip, causing sleepless nights and paralyzing fear. Depression casts a shadow over his daily existence, robbing him of joy and purpose. The man becomes entangled in a web of negative self-talk and destructive behaviors, gradually losing sight of the person he once was.
The man’s struggle is leading him to retreat into isolation. The weight of his burdens becomes unbearable, and he seeks solace in solitude. He withdraws from loved ones, finding it increasingly difficult to articulate his pain and fears. As he distances himself from previous support networks, his demons thrive in the absence of connection and understanding. The deep darkness within grows more pervasive, threatening to consume him entirely.
The patient self-reports a growing sense that he is reaching a breaking point. Overwhelmed by the intensity of his inner turmoil, he confronts the harsh reality that his demons cannot be ignored any longer. The choice becomes stark: succumb to the darkness or summon the strength to seek help and embark on a path to healing. In a moment of clarity, he has decided to face his demons, recognizing that redemption lies not in their defeat but in understanding, acceptance, and transformation.
Armed with this newfound determination, the man embarks on a journey to self-redemption. He seeks professional help at this time, embracing therapy and counseling as tools for unraveling the layers of his inner demons. Through introspection and guided support, he explores the root causes of his struggles, gradually gaining insight into the patterns that have shaped his life.
With time, expectations are that he will learn to accept and embrace his vulnerabilities, recognizing that they are an integral part of his journey. He will cultivate self-compassion, acknowledging that healing is a process that requires patience and self-love. Engaging in mindfulness practices, he develops an awareness of his thoughts and emotions, empowering himself to challenge negative patterns and redirect his energy toward positive change.
It is therefore my additional expectation that through therapy, self-reflection, and the unwavering support of others, the man will begin to regain his sense of self. He will discover coping mechanisms and healthy outlets for his emotions. Gradually, he will develop resilience and learn to navigate the ebb and flow of life’s challenges. While his inner demons may never completely vanish, he realizes that he possesses the strength and tools to confront them.
In conclusion, the patient is noted to be overall improved from the last scheduled session in 2019. The patient still exhibits genetically predisposed potential psychotic rage and an environmentally produced narcissistic overlay which forms the basis of his pathology. Further therapy is therefore recommended.”
“This is what she fucking sent to Lee?”
Back in Peru, Dan Ryan sat behind a desk at his rented villa holding the report up in the air in front of him. Phyllis stood across from him and nodded.
“That is my understanding, sir, yes.”
Dan rolled his eyes, hard. “Jesus… therapy, self-reflection, and the unwavering support of others? Cultivate self-compassion, acknowledging that healing is a process that requires patience and self-love. She actually wrote that shit down and sent it to Lee Best…”
Phyllis nodded again.
“That was the requirement for the session.”
“Well,” Dan replied. “That’s just fucking great. I’m sure that right away he’ll arrange for me to have some time off for some ‘me time’, or suggest that I take a vacation to ‘reflect on my inner demons’, and what is it with the inner demons bullshit anyway? Goddamn lady, say inner demons about thirty more fucking times, would you?”
Phyllis shrugged. “Maybe he’ll surprise you.”
“No,” he said. “He won’t surprise me. I know Lee. Lee knows me. I have my instructions already. He won’t surprise me. He only cares about my ‘inner turmoil’ to the extent that it helps me do my job. It was different when I wasn’t back on the payroll. He could afford to reach out and give a shit. But he’s trusting me now to do a fucking job. I can’t believe I let you talk me into this shit, Phyllis.”
She took a couple of steps and pulled a chair back away from the desk, and sat down.
“I thought it might help. You’ve been wound more tightly by the week. All of the tension between you and the family isn’t helping. It looks like it’s snowballing, and I’ve seen these warning signs before. I don’t want you to go down that road again. I know that isn’t what you want.”
He leaned forward.
“Balance is what I want, Phyllis. I don’t want someone peeling fucking layers away and telling me why it fucking hurts inside, you understand? I know why it fucking hurts, and I’m dealing with it. Personal life and business always stay separate. I am expected to do a job and I will fucking do it.
He stood up, then ripped the paper in half about four times and tossed the remains into a garbage bin next to the desk.
“No more fucking therapy sessions. Not if this is the hippie-ass bullshit that I’m gonna have to deal with as a result. No more goddamned feelings. I’m only interested in taking some fucking action. I have my goal this week, I have my target. I don’t want to hear anything about Cecilia, Lindsay, or anyone else that isn’t involved in this show right here, in this country, this week. Is there any possible way that I’m not being clear enough for you to understand?”
Phyllis bristled and leaned forward, hands on the desk. “No, I understand. And if I think there’s something you need, even though you can’t figure it out for yourself due to your unrelenting stubbornness, I will continue to completely ignore you and do what is best. Is there any possible way that I’m not being clear enough for you to understand?”
Dan stared at her for what seemed like hours, and she maintained her own stare. Finally, he spoke.
“Is STRONK in town yet?”
Phyllis held her stare.
“He and M.O.B. just arrived this morning. He had some meetings in California with some movie industry types. The offers for him have started pouring in.”
Dan chuckled slightly. “Well, why not? The kid is on the run of a lifetime right now. He’s been here what, a little over a year or so? He’s been an HOTv Champion, LSD Champion, he made a damn fine showing at last year’s War Games, goes into a funk, then comes roaring back and does what? He wins War Games and the World Championship, and he looks like a million bucks. Those guys would be fools not to reach out to him. The man prints money.”
Phyllis nodded. “One might say he’s rather easily controlled, too… or… influenced perhaps I should say. Is that a concern?”
“Everything is a concern, Phyllis.” He stood up and turned to look through the window behind him, looking down a steep hill at the lush jungle and the city beyond. “It isn’t doing much to stop him so far though. He’s on the right side, that’s all that matters. I like the kid. He’s a force of fucking nature. We’ve got another big match this week. I’m glad he’s on my side.”
“So your opponents this week,” Phyllis stood up to match him. “Quite the collection. Some new faces or at least, one new face. Did you want to release a statement, or maybe record something? The local press has been hounding us, as usual.”
Dan turned to face her.
“Did you bring Scott with you?”
Phyllis sighed. “Yes, he’s been going crazy for something to do. The entire flight down here he kept begging for something to do, and when I ignored him, he pouted the rest of the way. The lady in the seat in front of us almost killed him because he was kicking the back of her seat like a petulant toddler.”
“Well, to be fair, he is a petulant toddler. But it just so happens, I agree that it’s time I give him a little more responsibility. You say the press wants some words on this match?”
Phyllis smirked and nodded.
He smiled back.
“Give it to the kid. I’ll give him some notes, and then you can turn him loose.”
Phyllis chuckled. “Well… this ought to be an adventure.”
”He is known as an idiot savant, minus the savant.”
Hello everyone, my name is Scott Hunter. I am writing this for you because my very important boss, whose name is Daniel Ryan even though he goes by Dan, has told me that I can relay a message from him about his opponents in this week’s special wrestling show titled, “CHAOS IN PERU!! ELECTRIC BOOGALOO!!”
Some of you might think that the show isn’t actually called that, but you can’t prove it, so look who looks stupid now. It’s you.
My very good friend and boss, Dan has given me a list of the professional wrestlers who will be taking part in what is being called a ‘Tornado Tag Match’. This is, of course, the most dangerous type of weather-based match, right behind the ‘Typhoon Tag Match’ and the ‘Cloudy With a Slight Chance of Rain Rumble’. I have always been afraid of tornados, but I will do my best. I don’t want to let him down. When I got the message that I would be doing this, I was very busy exploring some random place called ‘Machu Picchu’, which despite the name has close to no peaches at all. This is a good thing because I hate peaches and also I am allergic to fuzzy fruits.
I’m going to start with Jace Parker Davidson because I like eye patches and the pirates who wear them. One time when I was ten years old, I rode Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland like twenty times in a row during the parade. Jace Parker Davidson is, of course, based on one of the animatronics from that ride, specifically one of the pigs in the scene where a pirate is very very drunk. He also looks like Rob Lowe as the young Dr. Evil in the fabulous film Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, which is one of my favorite documentaries. So what I’m saying is Jace Parker Davidson is a pirate. He probably sails the seven seas looking for booty, and since his partner is Bobbinette Carey, it seems as though he has found some.
Speaking of Bobbinette Carey, I am actually a fan of hers ever since her star-making turn on the hit 80s sitcom Gimme a Break. I think it was really a missed opportunity not to use the theme song as her own theme song, but I like how she has different shades of purple in her hair and on her lips and also in other places too if the tabloids are to be trusted, which they are. Again, you can’t prove it is a lie, so shut up. Some people have claimed that she almost beat my boss and good friend Dan Ryan in a match a few weeks before War Games, but that is obviously a damn dirty lie. I happen to know for a fact that he had not gotten much sleep the night before that match and that also, Bobbinette Carey cheated by being a woman. That is an unfair advantage due to the many foreign objects that can be stashed away in her coot-coot. That is a technical term that I learned this morning.
Evan Ward is in a coma I’m told, which is what you are supposed to use so you can have good grammar. It is very important to use comas properly so that you don’t sound like a nitwit. He also isn’t speaking or moving right now, which reminds me a lot of the time I had two Xanax and then shot a fifth of vodka in college. I do not recommend that experience because someone might draw a penis on your face while you are unconscious. I did not get a cool motorized vehicle to ride around in like Evan Ward, however, and that seems particularly unfair. If he gets up and tries to hit someone with a knee it will be the most shocking thing that has ever been seen in professional wrestling, and I’m counting the time Bobby Dean said no to seconds at the High Octane all-you-can-eat pizza party in honor of Max Kael’s death. Or in memory of it or something. All I know is stuffed crust rocks.
Rhys Townsend I am told is a Hall of Famer who has won many important championships and likes to build rustic sea shanties in his free time in case he should happen upon the siren song of a lonesome banshee whom he can woo and make his wife. The only thing I want to know is why does everyone keep talking about him being Welsh?? Granted, his family’s grape juice is delicious, but that’s hardly something to be proud of in the context of professional wrestling. I think he is good at chain wrestling, and also when he is not wrestling chains he is very good at putting a series of moves together which will inflict maximum damage on anyone who is not protected by the enchanted Y Ddraig Goch, which is of course the precise moment that dog poop turns white… Wait, actually, my notes say it is a Welsh Red Dragon, and so it just so happens that my boss and friend Dan will not be affected by Townsend’s moves, since I will make sure he has plenty of red grape juice for breakfast that day.
Darin Zion is a boob.
That is actually all it says on this paper about him.
Okay, so the last one is about someone I’ve actually heard of before. His name is Conor Fuse and even though he only spells his name with one ‘n’, he is not actually dumb. In fact, his mom is the one who spelled it that way and since she is currently married to my boss and friend Dan’s other friend Jatt, who spells his name with two ‘t’s, I will let her off the hook. I once saw a funny movie called There’s Something About Mary and Conor’s hair looks just like Cameron Diaz after she massaged cum into her hair, so I think it is obvious how his hair got that way. I think he should be careful though, because stray cum in the eye once killed Cecilworth Farthington’s father, and that is a fact that is based on heavily researched information in medical journals and one truck stop bathroom wall. Dan and Conor have been good friends for many years and they once even won a tag team championship before my boss and friend Dan’s knee fell apart after getting wet. Steve Harrison is the one who did it, although I do not blame him since the wizard promised he could go back to Kansas if he captured Dan Ryan’s broom. You can’t hate someone who just wants to go home.
In conclusion, I completely expect my boss and friend Dan Ryan and the World Champion STRONK!!, who now spells his name with two exclamation points, to win this tornado tag team match and go on to even greater heights afterward. Who knows what those heights will be? Maybe another all-you-can-eat pizza party is in order. If so, remember I like stuffed crust. Don’t be selfish.
I am sure I have done a pretty good job with the task I have been given, so I will stop now and go make myself a nice fruit smoothie. BUT NOT PEACHES.