Today, I woke up determined to have a ‘normal’ day.
Fed the cats. Helped Si make a breakfast smoothie. Got ready. Gulped the thick fruity drink down and headed for the train station. On the way, I received a text from a junior doctor who thanked me for sharing this blog with her as she thought it was full of very valuable insights. From her own experiences, she knew how reluctant society was to talk about mental illness. She is seriously considering specialising in Psychiatry.
At work I had a capable young trainee working with me. Aside from anaesthesia we talked about the gentrification of Brixton that had gone too far and how doing admin is far more tiring than looking after patients. Then I caught up with some admin.
‘Grassroots’ in Brighton sent an e-mail thanking me for contributing to their World Suicide Prevention Day celebrations : https://youtu.be/aclR9grDt1Q
One of Saagar’s school friends sent me a ‘friend request’ on face book! Yay!!! 🙂
Went to the gym after work. There was a beautiful, slim, tall blonde lady training at the same time as me. I overheard her saying that she did not like to look at herself in the mirror. I couldn’t think of one reason why that might be the case. Wonder what her story was! After finishing the session had a heart to heart with my trainer who shared his difficult time looking after his father in a hospice for 3 months before he passed away. We both had tears in our eyes and we gave each other a warm healing hug before saying bye. While having a shower I realised that if I stood absolutely still under the warm shower, it felt like being inside a warm duvet.
On the way home, I slept with my mouth open on the train. Luckily didn’t miss my station or swallow a fly. Got a phone call from R’s Mum. She has not had a good week. R’s inquest is coming up next month and she really wants to talk to me about it. So, we set a date for next week.
Got home and lit a candle for Saagar. Sat down with a cup of tea and heard a knock on the door. There was a lady from Greenpeace. After talking to her for 5 minutes at the door I invited her in. For the next half an hour we had a great conversation. I didn’t mind missing the ‘Archers’. We spoke about many topics close to my heart – air quality on London, lack of proper usage of solar energy in India, people forming strong bonds with technology while loosing their deep connection with nature, writing, campaigning and so on. I am now a proud member of Greenpeace!
Now I am about to cook dinner for Si as he is working late…again.
Sarah Fitchett is a neonatal nurse and a lecturer. She is also a mother bereaved through suicide. Like me, she is affiliated with PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide Charity by way of fundraising and awareness raising. This is an e-mail from her:
“I delivered an awareness session to GPs in Birmingham last week and they were desperate for more training. They were literally asking me,
“What should I say?”
“What if the answer is yes?”
“What am I looking for?
“There are no services available to signpost young people to – CAMHS is so stretched”
“How will I know?”
“How do I cope with losing a patient to suicide?”
I really hope they will come on ASIST. Such a lot of work is needed. One of our young volunteers, a mental health nurse from Bristol self-funded a place on ASIST because she had no idea how to help someone at risk of suicide, neither did any of her colleagues. Her training hadn’t covered it and there was no training available to her. A WM police officer self-funded a place on ASIST and used her annual leave to attend because so very much of her role is attending people in crisis.”
11th October 2014 was a saturday. I had tickets for the Omid Djalili show for us. Saagar loved stand-up comedy and I thought it might help him. He sat on my right. I watched his responses. He appeared to be under a cloud. He did laugh but his laughter was subdued. At break time I bought him a drink and for some strange reason it felt like a significant happening, like an unforgettable scene in an iconic film. It was the last time I bought him a drink. It was the last time we went for a show together.
Let us do everything we can to save young lives.
Thank you Omid for bringing him some happiness. Even if it was short-lived.
First law of Thermodynamics : Energy can neither be created nor destroyed.
Within my basic understanding of physics, I think of it as: when breaks are applied to a moving car, the kinetic energy from the movement is converted to thermal energy causing the break-pads to heat up. Similarly the turning blades of a wind turbine transform wind (kinetic) energy into electrical energy.
May be each one of us is a field of energy. May be that is why the interaction between two people changes when a third person brings their energy into the equation. May be that is why we like someone for no reason at all and dislike someone for no reason at all. May be our energy can neither be destroyed nor created. So even after someone’s physical form disappears, their energetic form continues to exist. May be it just changes its expression. May be it flows through the people they knew.
Being with Saagar’s friends is comforting for me as I feel his energy in them. It’s the same for them, being with me.
I see our compassion grow. I see us being creative. I see us going out of our way to deepen our understanding of the human condition. I see us wanting to make the world a better place. I see us taking small steps. I see us all constantly loving Saagar and carrying his beautiful energy within us.
She’s my friend. She sees hearts everywhere – in candle flames, on flower petals, on unevenly toasted bread, on random clouds and other unlikely places. Basically everywhere. She actively seeks them out as though they are quietly waiting to be discovered, playing hide and seek with her. They fill her with child-like wonder and glee. She goes on to excitedly share her hearts with the rest of the world. It’s infectious and now I see them too.
The heart is the ‘chakra’ that balances the body and spirit, with 3 chakras below and 3 above it. It is also known as ‘anahata’ in sanskrit which means ‘unhurt, unstruck and unbeaten’. It is green in colour.
This morning’s yoga session was about opening up the Heart chakra. It made me aware of the sensations in and around the chest. At times it felt like a flutter and others like an ache. It brought up the tears easily and induced a sense of expansion where I felt like all the kids in the world were mine and all I wanted was for everyone to be happy and free. My spirit seemed to have taken wings, soaring high while my mind and body stayed centred right where I was.
I am free to just be.
I am free to be happy.
I am. I am. I am.
In fact it’s not a curve, it’s a very wavy line with highly unpredictable peaks, troughs, amplitudes and wave-lengths.
But there is a lot of learning.
About the mind and it’s mysterious workings and aberrations.
About time, its games and distortions.
About resilience – not knowing how weak or strong I am.
About feelings, which are so much more important than I ever imagined.
About thoughts that can sometimes shred me down to smitherines and then gather me up into something more solid than solid.
About intuition and the pernicious effects of ignoring it.
About the heart, which in an ideal world would be allowed to rule, every time.
About purpose, which comes from the heart.
About pain, which can make a home in one’s heart.
It will soon be one year ….
“Time does not bring relief; you all have lied
Who told me time would ease me of my pain!
I miss him in the weeping of the rain;
I want him at the shrinking of the tide;
The old snows melt from every mountain-side,
And last year’s leaves are smoke in every lane;
But last year’s bitter loving must remain
Heaped on my heart, and my old thoughts abide;
There are a hundred places where I fear
To go – so with his memory they brim.
And entering with relief some quiet place
Where never fell his foot or shone his face
I say, ”There is no memory of him here.”
And so stand stricken, so remembering him.”