I had frozen on my screen again. I had been staring at it for almost 30 minutes and had no clue what the text in the opened Word document read. Hands trembling, heart beating fast, tears struggling to fall, but I quickly wiped them off. No, this wasn’t gonna happen, ‘Blacks don’t crack’. Continue reading “Edge of Reason”
By the time I got back home I was completely fagged out. I fell on my orthopedic bed with a loud thud and drifted to sleep. Was I asleep or was I awake? I don’t know anymore.
I saw Richard while sleeping. He told me he was afraid to live. He said I should have allowed him drown. He had lost his wife and kids in a car accident and he was recently laid off from his job and couldn’t even pay his bills. He’s the only child of ‘only-child ‘ parents who had passed away a couple of years back. His wife was also orphaned and literally, he had no other family.
Amidst my tossing and turning, I opened an eyelid to notice my grandfather’s massive antique clock on the purple wall striking 3 AM. I must have slept because I closed my eyes at 11 PM or was it 12? I don’t know anymore. Turns out, I dream of things I’ve seen through the day. It’s no wonder I’ve been having insomnia for some years now. Who would sleep after hearing the horrendous stories shared everyday by clients?
Richard had been through a lot and death was pretty much his best option. Definitely not the only option. He complained that life had lost its meaning and he didn’t even know where to start from.
I think about death a lot lately. Sometimes I welcome it with open arms, other times I just ponder upon the power death wields. It takes anyone without a second thought. It turns its cold back to the ceaseless tears flowing upon the plain faces of loved ones.
When my spell began some few years back and I had an episode on my wedding day, I was pretty much ready to die. His parents didn’t allow him go ahead with the marriage. Heck! His face was as white as though he had seen a ghost. Maybe that’s when I cut all attachments and became a lone ranger. A loner at night but an ever listening, ever patient therapist at day.
You know how we often think we are the only ones experiencing the worst of situations? Every therapy session reveals otherwise. There’s always a worst story. Day after day, client after client, I’ve learned the untold evil that plagues the inhabitants of this planet. As selfish humans though, we get stuck up in our pool of despair that we fail to see the other person falling off the cliff.
I’ve been on medications for as long as I can remember but the best medication for me has been listening to other people’s pains and helping them get out of their heads. In the end, most of what we feel or experience is all in our heads. I get them out of their heads and do the job for them. Excessive thinking.
Maybe I make up for my pain by ensuring no one lives through it. I think I’m addicted to the pain. My pain has numbed me. No one should go through that.
Richard has to live. Even though I know suicide is an illusion of escape from the known world, I know the unknown world is not where Richard would like to be right now. It’s worse than this place. He won’t even be able to handle it. He blames me for not allowing him die that day and put an end to his misery. If only he knew, he would thank me for saving him from the afterlife.
Sometimes I wonder how something as cold as death emerges from a world as hot as hell. The known and unknown worlds. I wish I could completely figure those out. Turns out the books I’ve been reading on them leave me more confused.
It’s another sleepless night, I didn’t get the rest that was required of me. But I’ve got to get back to work. I’ve missed it. Maybe that’s because the work is all I’ve got to keep me sane.
©Mfon Etuk, 2016.
As I saw him staring into the ocean, a lot of thoughts crossed my mind. One of them was ‘why was he standing so close?’ What could leave him lost at the edge of the ocean with the gentle waves bathing his feet. I’ve studied human behavior for ten years now but every day I learn something new about humans that fascinates me the more! I’m human too, so I guess learning new things about myself also counts.
In the blink of an eye, he got into the water and the mounting waves swallowed him. I screamed and alerted a lifeguard who ran after him. My heart kept skipping as I waited on the beach. Minutes seemed like hours and finally I saw a figure emerge, carrying another. Thankfully the paramedics were handy and quickly began reviving him. I couldn’t leave. I didn’t know him but I just couldn’t get my bare feet to make their way back to my bamboo seat under the palm trees.
The cold evening breeze caused me to shudder as I sat on a the sand while waiting for the final verdict.
“He’s alive!” A nurse called out and I let out a gush of air I didn’t even know I was holding.
Rewind 6 hours back.
It was a pleasant day. At least the rains had finally paused and the sun had come out to beam its radiant smile upon us. A lot had been going on in my mind. I’d been having some relapses lately and my mind has been one messed up web. My PA kinda freaked out when she saw me sprawled on the floor in my office the day I forgot to take my meds. She insisted I took a day off. Thankfully, I had no appointments scheduled for today and reluctantly I drove down to the beach.
There’s something serene and therapeutic about the beach; the way the waves send ripples; the way the water gives the sand a sloppy kiss. A beautiful harmony! Days like this when my mind webs me in and leaves me at the brink of sanity, the beach becomes my go-to. Either that or my den at home.
Hours passed as I sipped various glasses of punch while reading a Danielle Steele novel. I have a few fears in life and large bodies of water happens to be one of them. I never get so close to the water. I guess that’s the reason why I quickly noticed the man in the white shirt and jean shorts standing at the edge of the water.
From practice and experience, I’ve come to discover that people deal with a whole lot of stuffs and still hide them behind smiles. In some cases, those with chronic depression may conceal it enough by making others laugh but never really laughing themselves. I’ve told my clients severally to let these emotions out. Bottling them is like shaking a can of soda, someday it pops open and spills. I would know, because I’m still trying to clean up the mess from my last spasmodic episode.
I couldn’t wait to hear his story. The nurses said he ought to get some rest but I could come check up on him in the hospital. Trust me to follow up. Curiosity has been my strongest suit. It leads me to ask way too many seemingly irrelevant questions.
As I sat by his bedside, questions began to run through my mind. What was I doing in the hospital with a total stranger? Where’s his family? Why do I even care? It’s not like I was being paid or something. Besides, I had a truckload of problems myself. I needed to manage my mental health before managing those of my patients.
He finally opened his eyes. “Where am I? Who are you?”
A smile appeared on my distressed facial features.
©Mfon Etuk, 2016
I never thought I will share this,
Like been in the abyss,
But it remaining with me is useless,
It may seem am letting out too much,
Just follow me closely don’t rush,
Everyone loves a happy child,
So guess when I became mild,
People just felt I was one of a kind,
Oblivious of the marathon on my mind,
I remembered vividly,
Clearer than a high definition Tevee,
How my innocence was ruptured and turn apart,
The first deep cut to my heart,
What’s the use of details,
When the deed has been done,
But my life had barely begun,
I was only 9, yet everyone assumed I was fine
They say lightening never struck a spot twice,
Guess my case, that saying didn’t hold true,
Cause how do you explain getting rapped,
In your first year at school,
By a brother in same fellowship just because I wasn’t ready for a relationship
Abortion, infections, diseases were comic relief to my grief,
I led a normal life on the outside,
People wised to swap places with me,
But within I was a prisoner who needed a help and rehab,
Suicide was all I contemplated on the inside
How could life be so unfair,
All this just too much for my share,
The pains I had to go through was like a pin in a haystack,
Whenever the mental images of my past flashed by,
I appeared healthy yet terribly sick,
Worse off, not even the one I married had a clue
If they define Health as a state of being sound, mentally, emotionally, physically, financially and otherwise,
Guess its wise to say by that definition we are all sick one way or another,
So its pointless judging another,
She’s got HIV, He’s got Ebola,
Its only a matter of time before both bid the world goodbye
Mental images are hardest to erase,
Unlike a memory card that can be formatted or crashed,
These images stay with you till your last breathe,
The only known panacea is constantly renewing your mind with the world while on earth,
I was a victim for some, others I was the cause,
But in all I was not under any curse,
Though it took me time to get my life back on course,
I surely never lived my life on pause
My complete health was restored when I got addicted to him,
He restored my broken heart and bind my wounds,
His love for me a better picture to behold,
Compared to my tales of old filled with woes,
He freed me from the prison I was in,
My life he changed and made brand new,
Your case may not be pathetic as mine,
But you can never be guilty when the plaintiff and judge are on your side,
Its no obstruction of justice,
But a reminder of how great He is,
Your mental illness is not a problem,
If only you let him be your doctor,
He will cure you, simple as ABC,
And you will be healthy again that’s all.
Written by my good friend, Alex Osagie