Art · Health

Future Grief

The past 10 days I’ve been having severe bouts of death reflection and suicide anxieties. Was I being suicidal? No. Not at all.
But if I were to say I’m dying people won’t react to it the same way if I were to say I’m suicidal…though the end result is the same. So I do what I do best. I live through the many egos I show the world and keep a trusted friend who would just hear me out. And often this is all that is required…a ear and not a solution.

My constant affair with life and death is never going to disappear. It’s not a symptom that can be treated. Who in their right mind would treat life or even think of medicalizing experiences? Well actually there are alot of them.

I had a conversation with someone today which made me write this. Before that another person woke me up from a dream where I was just about to get the phone number of a very good looking person. Instead of lying in bed and hoping death visits me in the form of a nocturnal seizure, I sprung up to a living room with two kittens sleeping over a plant they toppled over. My mom was definitely going to crucify me if she hears about this. Thank god she doesn’t surf the Internet or read my blog.

I realized the many digressions I make in conversations and in my life. I’m always jumping from one thing to another. I can’t sit or stand still for more than 2 minutes without being fidgety. My neuro said I have akathasia caused by the medications I used to take. It’s annoying when your body moves involuntarily or people ask you if you need to go to the loo.

I had someone who takes their meds tell me that I should consider taking my meds. What for? I asked. Have I asked you to Not take your meds?
The person was trying to tell me that the meds might calm me and I’ll be ‘more’ focused allowing me to sit through an 8 hour routine.

My reply was pretty long:
Why do you think I want to sit through for 8 bloody hours for anything? That might be your way of doing things not mine. Health experts and trainers are writing hundreds of articles today talking about the importance of moving every 30 minutes at least cause our bodies are getting rusted by sedantary lifestyles. Our rat race lifestyles of cramming everything in 8 hours is causing a range of health issues. What you call a disorder that needs to be treated is what these guys are recommending to ‘normal’ people.

My hyperactivity takes care of alot of things because I found a system that has worked for me. The only reason no one paid attention to such a possibility is because they have already concluded that people like me are never going to live functional lives and we’re an incapable species. Truth is we are political specimens representing how social constructions are made and hierarchy being the only way.

They sit comparing mental illness just as any medical illness. But people believe that you can have cancer and diabetes and still live. Funny how they don’t apply the same logic when it concerns mental illness. Worst of all is they simply cannot comprehend the fact that a ‘schizophrenic’ can have a conversation and not kill anyone.
They advice the former group of people to take up a hobby, visit friends, read positive books, watch movies and go out and not be confined to their homes and their medical illness. Yet when it comes to mental illness none of these logic applies. These individuals are locked behind bars, not allowed to interact with others, not allowed to watch or read anything because apparently it’ll influence their illness and if they don’t take their meds they are forced.

Yet when a person with cancer opts out chemo and chooses ayurveda it is ok. When a person with diabetes chooses diet and nutrition over medical dependence it is okay. When a person with a weak heart chooses to go for walks alone it is okay. It is okay that in spite of the fact that their choices can lead to a medical emergency or death, the social structure says ‘We need to work around their choices and let them decide’. Death counsellors and spiritual counsellors exist for many of them who choose 2 years of life over possibilities a chemo can offer. And this is called a choice.

This is the hypocrisy. Even in stating the medical model to raise awareness – their logic of care, support, treatment options and rehabilitation are barbaric when it concerns mental illness.

There are many people with medical illness who have reintegrated in society. You can see them.
There are very few people with ‘mental illness’ who are in this similar boat but they are all called ‘rare cases’. No one wants to question the possible idea that perhaps there is another method that works and maybe we can invest our time to identify what they are.

But if they did billions of us would not be crazy anymore and they’ll lose business.
The future is made today. Not tomorrow.

7 thoughts on “Future Grief

  1. Wow. A great article u wrote..I truly agree..whom ever came up with the word sane or insane had some issue..I believe we all function a mm think differently.. Putting labels is like hearding people into certain catagories..a joke at that..we feel things for a reason..were unhappy or hurting because its a natural response to many things..could be environmental..cultural..social..economical..an the list always continues on..that doesn’t make us mentally ill..that’s even a psychiatric pscho. Bable cruel word as all psychiatry in my opinion..I suffer with wanting to end things a lot an have depressed episodes..to say its not usual would be a lye..many of us aren’t happy with certain aspects of life..a lot stemmed from a certain upbringing..like taught things in a dysfunctional manner..ya as adults we recognize what an when things went down but we then learn we can make changes within for the better..doesn’t make life perfect..especially in a broken world..we strive to do our best..we help were we feel our calling is an stand up for certain rights..laws..values..teachings an so on..I respect all an am trying to activate a better understanding that the so called mental health aspects were not of truth an the psychiatric or pharmacuetical companies r not a proven science an do more harm than good..Thanku Val for all of your inner expression..a lot of people feel the same just r afraid or don’t express there Indiviualality.. 8ts a harsh world an when one does say something people don’t know how to react except for what society has led us to believe..”lock up the ones whom may endanger themselves or may SCT or think different..very sad..I am believing enough of us will be able to open peoples eyes an things will begin to change as it has started

  2. I think there is a mix-up in the language here. To remain sane in this world full of insane people, is an insanity by itself- is what I was trying to say. And if someone is unable to digest the insanity of all that goes around, their authentic self is awoken and it starts on a quest to find the truth- so be assured, there is not an iota of insanity in you or anyone. these are just the masks in which they have hidden from the madness around.

    I hope that more will be able to take their masks off, though it is a great haul and i do not know how many would have support around to even attempt it.

    1. The authentic self , yes indeed Prateeksha. I believe support can be created. For those of us who have identified it and can give pictures and words to the kind of support that has worked will be an important step…..I’m not getting the right words to frame this sentence at the moment. But this is the missing piece of the puzzle that often cannot be seen. How to support and what kind of support.

  3. After years of living through, then deconstruction, now re-construction-and analysis of stories of scores of others, if there is one thing that I have learnt Reshma, it is that there is NO MENTAL ILLNESS- as plain as that. nothing new some would say- for the likes of Szasz and Laing, Foucault and scores of others saw it long back. The only difference is that they had no lived experiences and they were trained in one or another method- psychiatry and linguistics mostly.

    I think to remain sane in this really INSANE world is a sign of no insanity, but the greatest sanity, for there is no logic in anything here, no certainty that any rational outcomes can emerge from rational efforts. To top this we live in a society where people are repeatedly marginalized for every single reason. TO be well adjusted to this madness is itself some sort of pathology I think. So the rational, the human, the real, the authentic will time and again rebel against this nonsense, and yes finding oneself alone we would all question the meaning of life, toy with suicide and consider cutting the long agony short. Believe me, such thoughts come to me, notwithstanding all that I do- because the inhuman world is the same for all sensitive blokes- INHUMAN in its entirety.

    Just consider yourself (like I do at times) so much better off than scores of others and whether in your success at ANYTHING, not lie the hope and inspiration that they could gain from and take heart- this hope kept me alive in real suicidal moments for decades. And btw, in case you want to be part of a new kind of counseling support that I am working on, in the context of serious mental illness, by going through it and then learning to offer it to others, do consider the option. The first premise of it is a lived experience and it is a little more organized and thorough than peer- support, as it comes with a serious academic orientation.

    You mean a lot to many, so your life is NOT your own, and you cannot decide the length of it. Just live it well and continue being the inspiration you are and will be to scores- much love.

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