Tonight I was interviewing a young lady. A pleasantly paranoid young mother of two. Her boyfriend had kicked her out. She took her kids to her sister-in-law’s, and went to a homeless shelter. Later she decided that life wasn’t worth living, and eventually ended up in my ER for psychiatric evaluation. The beginning of the interview was rough. Short, curt answers. “These people are crazy.” “I don’t want to be here.” Somehow I broke through and got a smile or two out of her. I think it was when I asked, “Do you think people treat you fairly?” Somehow that got me on her side. I continued with the standard interview questions.

“Do you smoke?”
“DO you drink alcohol?”
“DO you use any other drugs like marijuana?”
Laughter from her. “Of course not. I’m already paranoid. Think how paranoid I’d be if I smoked pot? H*ll, I won’t even take tylenol. It’s amazing I could bring myself to smoke cigarettes at all.”

I’ve heard a lot of excuses for smoking, but that has got to be the most legitimate one I’ve ever heard!