I walk down to the cyber-café to pen down something I wrote in the morning today. And as I walk through the streets, I observe myself walking- the mass of body that takes care of itself, the mind that is now recovering after a subdued storm, an ego feeling embarrassed about being at home at this time of the day when all my other room-mates are at work. A man without work is a man without respect.
I look back at all that has happened in the last couple of months, the speed with which seasons change in my life.
I become aware of the thousand thoughts that now rush through my mind per second.
And all through this- my body, my mind, my ego… I search for my heart. What does it have to say? What does it feel?
I believe it’s always a challenge to reach one’s heart, through all the layers of the ailments of the body, the noise of the mind, the judgements of the ego. And all the noise that surrounds you in the outside world. How do you listen to your heart, to what it has to say? How do you reach that Inner Voice- the Real Intelligence.
Uma used to say, by Stillness, Awareness.
She was the one who taught me to be still.
However, even stillness needs an effort from one’s end. How often have I been lost in the chores and noises of everyday life, so as to have forgotten the necessity to be Still…
Today my heart weeps. Though there are no tears outside. I had thought Psychiatry would help me with its drugs and labels. I wanted to go back to working, having a job etc. I succeeded. Drugs helped me. But the healing had to be deeper.
Today somebody called up; somebody cared enough to return my call. Somebody whom I rarely thought of in all these months, somebody from Uma’s group. I was desperately looking for Uma yesterday night, after my telephonic conversation with my psychiatrist. And was unable to reach her on her mobile number. So tried to recall everyone who could help me get back in touch with her. And somebody bothered enough to call. Thanks.
The following is a piece I wrote in the morning today as a few words resounded through my being; which I immediately jotted down in my mobile and sent across to my Shrink. Those words are at the end of this article.
I had to write today. I had to speak. I had to let myself speak, so as to listen and distinguish the voice of my heart. It has been a long time since my heart spoke and I listened. So I allowed myself to express freely what I felt, on paper. And I reproduce it below:
‘Many say to my soul: There is no salvation for him…’
Yesterday you got rid of my case, proclaiming that, “Psychiatry” as you know it, “has nothing to offer me”. (And when I asked you the clinical name of my condition you vaguely described it as Depression, without specifying what kind of depression- manic, bi-polar, double depression…??? And if Psychiatry as you know it has nothing to offer me now, how come you don’t shut down your shop sir?)
Your words sounded quite contrary to the statement you had made a couple of months ago, as you wrote my prescription- “We are here to take care of it” (when I had appraised you of my nervousness about joining a new job yet again, given my history of lapsing into depression and losing jobs due to absence from work)
“We are here to take care of it”. Your self-confidence gave me the glimmer of hope to get back to normal life, to take up yet another job as per your advice, ‘knowing’ you will be there “to take care of it” when I would face a crisis. I never considered you as “God”, like you mentioned yesterday on phone. I merely expected Professional-help from a qualified doctor who had given me all the right assurances. I never expected a Miracle from some living “God”. Even that, (professional help), you failed to extend to me when I needed it the most – when I faced my first crisis at my new job (my inability to be regular at my workplace due to periodic occurrence of severe depression.)
When I wanted to meet you, during the last crucial days when I was facing the crisis at my workplace (when something could have been done to save my job, and to restore my confidence in psychiatry), you refused to meet me.
You failed miserably, doctor. Not just as a doctor; but as a human being, for you did not keep your word, your promise of being there to “take care of it” when the need would arise.
So where do I go from here?
Ø End my life, had enough of it
Ø See another Psychiatrist, to be lured by his false assurances like yours
Ø Continue being drugged with your medicines, when you have already given up on me!!
Ø Spend yet another era of confusion, hopelessness, unemployment and despair
Ø Take you to the
Consumer Court or take whatever legal options available
Those are the options you have left me with. For you I was just another statistic in your (esteemed) long list of psychiatric patients. One case deducted from your list, won’t make any difference to your career, profession, life or peace of mind.
What you do forget, is that this one statistic was a human-being whom all the assurances of being there “to take care of it” was given by you.
Maybe it is your age, your Prudishness, inspite of your profession which demands the contrary.
You mentioned every time your disappointment (dislike?) with my “liaisons” as you put it. You could never use words like ‘whoring around’, or ‘male prostitute’ and always disguised your disgust with concerns about I getting infected.
You had on a couple of occasions even judged me on the basis of your prejudices, telling me that I do not want to work (you are simply lazy) “because you have easier modes of income available”.
“Easier”. Doc, for your information, it is never “easy” to lay with an old man who has a list of sexual preferences and demands that I fulfil/satisfy him so that I could earn those few notes of money. Yes, in a way it is easier to get out of bed for a couple of hours of prostitution to earn money for survival and to supplement my family income, easier than doing an eight-hour job when you are in depression.
Those couple of hours of prostitution helped me to pay your fees, doctor (which you most readily accepted); and please do not forget that I had approached you for treatment for my depression/anxiety so that I would not have to slut around, be able to get a decent job and not let depression ruin it.
But you failed me doctor. Perhaps it is your prejudice. You think I am plain lazy because I have “easier” sources of income available. You are dead wrong.
You might have given up on me, but I refuse to give up. You are a Failure, your Psychiatry is a Failure, I am not.
It’s a challenge- I’ll not let my life deteriorate, I will rise again (without your help).
And please, after reading this article (if you happen to read this), don’t spread rumours that this was exactly your intention, your line of treatment. Please do not take any credit for my current motivation to stand on my own feet again. Because that would be a plain lie, for you left your patient to die; he could have ended his life in frustration and his blood would have coloured your hands.