Hi Dr. Lamartiniere,
Welcome to darkness. For the foreseeable future, you two will be friends. Accept it, but don’t embrace it.
Admittedly, it’s a difficult balance to find. When I was in darkness, it took me quite some time to grasp. I hope my words help you find in days what it took me months to find.
Those around you, they won’t understand you. So don’t even try to explain your ordeal. You’ll come across as some mix of delusional and pretentious, and that’s a blend you want no part of. You should learn quickly: never try to explain yourself to someone who can’t understand. The effort is less than futile. It’s counterproductive.
In darkness, less is more. Be friendly, but never make friends. Interact with those around you, but never be a part of them. You’ll learn fast that friendship in darkness is transactional. You have to provide something in order to be given something. Give nothing, and you’ll never have to take anything. You’ll be lonely, but it’s better to be alone than where you don’t belong. That’s easier said than done, I know.
There will be many who try to turn you into many things. Above all else, remember who you are. Remember you are a physician. Where you are now doesn’t represent who you are, though many will tell you otherwise. The darkness will play many tricks on you. Resist them all, no matter how hard.
I wish I could tell you I did. But I didn’t. I went to the hole. I was assaulted. I was ostracized. I was humiliated. Hopefully, in reading this letter, you’ll face less than what I did. One word of advice, never ask for help. There’s a thin line between those who can help you and those who wish to hurt you. Above all else, stay detached. No one can hurt a person who chooses not to interact.
I suppose if I can meaningfully impart any advice, it would be this: find a mindset of detachment. It’ll be hard, as darkness offers many forms of enticement. It offers solace, so long as you lose yourself. But then darkness takes control, and you’re no longer who you were. That’s not what you want. Live amongst darkness, but never succumb to it. It’s fool’s gold. It’s a mirage.
Stay within, but stay apart. Use your commissary, but never use it to interact with others. Do your job, but avoid the hustles. Be friendly with everyone, but never identify with any one crew. The difference is subtle, but in darkness, subtlety is all there is.
If you’re lucky, eventually, you’ll find yourself alone. That’s where you want to be. You’d rather have nights alone than nights filled with obligations to those who pretend to be your friends.
I wish I could give you more tangible advice. I could fill pages on specifics on what to do and how to do it based on what I went through. But none of that will matter. Your experience will be different than mine. Your darkness will be different. All I can suggest is a mindset. Soon enough, you’ll understand the value of my words. Those who never experienced darkness will never know the pressures you’ll face. But I still remember it well.
It’s like nothing you ever experienced. The darkness will play with you. It’ll play both sides. It’ll impose the pressure and provide an outlet. Resist them both. See the darkness for what it is. If you’re able to see through it, you’ll glean the necessary perspective. Things will start to make sense, not in the way darkness wants you to think, but in the way you need to think.
Those around you will provide all sorts of advice on how to act. Listen to it all, but never believe a word of it. The darkness doesn’t react to actions. It preys on people’s minds. So develop the right mindset. Remember: accept darkness, but never succumb to it.
It may seem like I’m speaking in riddles. But for the foreseeable future, my words will be the only truth you’ll see. The darkness will fool you into thinking where you are is where you’re supposed to be. It’s just one of the many lies you’ll confront. In darkness, the more real things appear, the greater the lie you’re being fed. Be cautious when you start to feel comfortable. The smallest interactions penetrate the most deeply.
Many people will find many names for you. That’s how most initial interactions take place. Smile and be cordial, but be weary, for those labels create your identity. They’re how darkness penetrates you. Stop it before it even begins.
So when people ask you who you are, tell them, my name is Dr. Lamartiniere.