Emotions

I love my life and I love myself. I am happy within my own skin and I know very few people who can say this without either flinching or avoiding the question. In my line of work I see so many patients who really are quite disturbed by their actual self and cannot function without negativity in almost every sentence they say. There’s the anxiety of becoming old and losing the full functionality of their body as well as their minds. Then there’s the chronic fear of loneliness, abandonment and isolation from friends and family who either live further afield or have passed away due to ill-health. The loss importance is another theme that often arises in conversation. Many of my old dear patients feel so unimportant despite their knowledge and vast life experience. They couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, a large part of my life has been built on the foundations of having acquaintance with people who are often 20-30 years older than me at least. However, society really does not have any space for them or any useful and meaningful role which they can continue to play and live a more fulfilling and satisfying quality of life. It’s a sad situation and a real loss for society despite the abundance of this resource of knowledge and experience.

It’s not just the elderly that feel this way, its younger adults too. I witnessed something today which is not only rare but also dangerous. A senior member of staff and a psychiatrist argued like children to the point where the entire situation became toxic. It ended with the psychiatrist storming out in tears accusing the other member of staff of assault. Did the assault occur? I honestly don’t know and my view was blocked therefore I couldn’t see. Personally however, I really don’t believe my colleague was or even is capable of assaulting anyone. The psychiatrist really felt threatened by the behaviour and attitude of senior member of staff. This threat I believe was fuelled by her underlying issues, her vulnerability rather than the behaviour of the senior member of staff actually behaving in a threatening manner. She screams and leaves the office. Emotions were really running very high and my head was spinning from all the negativity in the room. I went after the psychiatrist who was now more vulnerable than I had ever seen since her arrival to the team almost three weeks ago. I followed her because no one ran after me when I felt threatened or vulnerable. She wears a happy-go-lucky attitude, a smile plastered on her face almost too easily, laughing and joking with the team. Her work ethic is strong, she oozes knowledge and expertise and completing clinical practice diligently with patient care at the centre of her practice. Yet this is an individual who is extremely vulnerable. The positive suit she wears is fake, behind which she carries a great deal of pain, hurt and damage. A heartbreaking observation to see her pathetic attempts at trying to win the acceptance of her colleagues and the only means by which she feels she can achieve this is put across a front which is so transparent. The psychiatrists position does not reflect her inner state of mind, one which is of chaos and confusion. She returned to the office composing herself.

Everyone is fighting their own battle, in one way of another yet we are just unable to see it because we are so engrossed in our own battles. This self-consuming disease of distress and pain has driven us to become ignorant of those around us. We have financial issues, family issues, personal identity issues to name but a few. We become so engrossed in the struggle to get something me we want to have become complacent. No one wishes to maintain an acceptable level of control over their emotions and fight their own battles privately perhaps due to a lack of knowledge on how to or the mere fact that the emotions are overwhelming.

As humans, if we are all carrying such negativity and stress around with us then what would make it easier for us? What is the one thing that would change the way you feel at one particular moment. The psychiatrist said to me she was grateful that I had come after her to encourage her to come back into the office. Another has said thank you for just being there while she just swears and screams. Another just wanting a hand while she has a panic attack. There was no judgment, there was no back biting and no break of trust. I was just there and such incidents don’t come up again in conversation, particularly from my side. I have come to realise that allowing someone to just vent their feelings at one particular point is so important and so vital to the individuals mental well-being.

Why are we so afraid of our emotions? We know how they feel when we feel them, so why do we ignore them when others around us feel the same?

Best Wishes,
Maahi PM

A Message

A messages has arrived;
It troubles me
A letter has come
It asks,
When will you return home?
Write to me, oh my loved one, when will you come home?
For without you, this home is soulless, empty

A lover, a lady has written a letter,
When is you return home?
For this home is empty, lifeless without you
They all ask, when will you return home?
The scented dawns, the riotous evenings,
The lonely nights, the flowers in her hair,
The incomplete words, the yearning embraces,
and the longing glances have all asked
When shall you return?
for without you this home is empty, lifeless without you.

A messages has arrived;
It troubles me
A letter has come
It asks,
When will you return home?
Write to me, oh my loved one, when will you come home?
For without you, this home is soulless, empty

The lover writes;
The towns, the shadows of the willow trees,
The old park bench, the rain showering down,
The fields of poppy, the town squares,
The ocher climbers, the twisting vines,
The rocking swings, the swaying flowers,
The bursting blossoms, and the lanes of the towns ask
When shall you return?
for without you this home is empty, lifeless without you.

The message has arrived,
Written with love in her eyes, words burstings with affection, with sentiment.
A tenderness, a warmth, a concern, a passion,
Sometimes Outwardly in anger, sometimes inwardly in love
In every word my lover asks,
When will you return home?
Write to me, oh my loved one, when will you come home?
For without you, this home is soulless, empty

Oh passing wind, in your arms carry my embrace to my lover
Quicken to my town, where the twisting vines await,
Quicken to my town with the swaying flowers,
Quicken to my lane with the shadows of the willows tress call out,
Quicken to my lane where by beloved resides
Give embrace to her, give her my love, give her my touch.
Tell her I love her so
Tell her I shall return one day

Memory

I am a Rock

Is it easy for you to ask for help when you need it, or do you prefer to rely only on yourself? Why?

I am a rock, or so I have been told today by a colleague who had a severe panic attack following an altercation with a fellow colleague in the office. We stand outside while she puffs away vigorously at her cigarette hurling obscenities at our colleague. I stand, watch and listen while offering what I believe to be very little in terms of support. kneeling down to her level, I comfort her and direct her attention away from her state of panic. I encourage her to breathe slowly and slow her pressured speech. My perseverance prevails. She began to breathe slower, speech returning to normal. Tears still roll down her eyes but she is calmer. She hold my hand. I feel the panic in her hand, it shakes, its clammy and cold. She looks at me, indicating that she is ready to return. I see her eyes. There is gratitude and there is relief too. So we walk back to the office, my colleague with red puffy eyes and a sombre look on her face. Angry, frustrated and tired. She links her arm in mine, and hold on tight with her head bowed. I walk in, eyes staring at me like I’ve just dragged in an alien. ‘Thank you’, she said again as we sit down, ‘you have been my rock today, I really do not how I could have managed the situation. I’m here if you ever need me’, she said; ‘do not be afraid to ask for support when you need it’. I was grateful for the gratitude and the hand in support offered to me.

I’ve been dwelling on the entire event ever since. The words echo in my head ‘do not be afraid to ask for support when you need it’. The truth is there was a period of time in my life where I relied heavily on most people around me for everything, particularly emotional support. Unfortunately despite relying on the person, there has been a lack of emotional or any other kind of support there. Slowly and eventually I have learnt to rely on myself heavily and make myself more self-sufficient particularly emotionally. It’s difficult to ask for help and support at a low point in your life only to be turned away or be let down. When asking for help, it is highly likely that you may already be struggling which may be making you feel slight vulnerable or outside of your comfort zone, but to then be ridiculed or to be brushed aside, is not really worth it?

Although it’s not hard for me to ask for help when needed, I usually prefer to rely on myself. To me its, taking full responsibility for the situation and an opportunity to learn something. In order to be a rock, I need to be a rock myself and yes its OK to sometimes say I really don’t know what I’m doing and feel almost isolated but its a lot easier than disappointment. When such situations arise, I take the back seat, reflect and try to make sense of it all. It’s important for me to know and accept that some things are out of my control and punishing myself over it or looking for a solution is often not an option. As a ‘rock’ I’m able to empower myself with the experiences of others and learn. It’s important for me not to take things personally or to heart. This is what helps me, this is what sustains me and for me life is full of moments when you must be your own rock your own saviour. Its most definitely worth it and its fulfilling.

I place myself in the periphery of a group and try to help others according to my capabilities. When tired, I can take a break, no one really notices I’m taking it. When I’ve had a rest, I go and be useful again. I don’t ask for anything in return, I just enjoy being a part of the scene. I don’t aim high, I just be helpful. In this way, no one wants from me more than I am capable of giving and also I don’t feel “used”. I find my happiness there.

Best Wishes,
Maahi PM

Regrets, I’ve had a few

What’s your biggest regret? How would your life have been different if you’d made another decision?

Regrets. We all have them and they play an aspect in shaping our lives. I’m no different. I have some and they often put me in situations that I could avoid. One of my biggest regrets is that I am emotional and, without sounding too self-proclaiming, I’m too nice. There have been times where I have not stood up for myself as much as I should have which has resulted in me often being used and abused. It left me feeling empty and worthless for a while but I still continued. If I had stood firmly on my own two feet and not worry about acceptance and fitting in I think my younger life would most definitely have been happier and easier.

Even now, II do feel that I am a bit of a push over and regret that but there is much more of a better understanding of it, I can almost justify it to myself in a more logical manner, in a more acceptable manner. So I am just covering up and justifying certain behaviours and continuing the same behaviour? Well, no. I know my limits now, I have set my boundaries to protect myself and I myself recognise my limits. When I have not stood up for myself I have often lost out on things I actually deserve and at a later date this has come back to bite me. There would most definitely have been different friends, a different job, a different marriage and a more desirable outcome. It’s all been in aid of being accepted and wanted, which are basic and natural needs of humans. However, I’ve learnt the hard way that pushing something that is not worth pushing is not always a good idea.

My biggest regret is not going for and waiting for what I deserve and in the end it has made me unhappy at times but the concept of being alone and unaccepted was too strong at the time that I was blinded by a desperation. But I’ve grown up now, and quickly too. I’ve learnt what I deserve and I’m now going after it, even if it means leaving a few people whom I do love behind.

Best Wishes,
Maahi PM

 

The Illusion

When we are in emotional distress and are hurting and in pain, there is seldom another standing beside us to help us through our suffering. So we become stronger, we fight the pain, we deal with our anguish. This strength sustains us throughout our youth. The illusion we create for ourselves is that our strength will see us through our darkest days. But we all age in one form or another and our strength does not sustain us, it disintegrates and we break. We have created a trap. With age comes many aliments which tax us of our energy and strength yet we still seek out the support we so needed when we were younger. What we forget is if there was no support when we were younger, why would there be support when we age?

Best wishes,
Maahi PM

The Art of Masking

The art of masking, what is it? Well, in my case its the masking of my internalised thoughts and feelings. It’s the manner in which I mask that I believe to be an art. Some critics may call it denial, some may say I run from the truth but in fact its none of these. I very well aware of what I mask and more importantly why I mask it. There is no individual in this world who has not been distressed by a particular situation which has caused them distress, discomfort and emotional pain. I am no exception. However, I have acquired a strange skills over the years. I have learned to slowly decrease my disapproval of circumstances. Yet I have not ignored how they have made me actually feel. Often what has occurred cannot be altered or even forgotten about but my reaction I realise can be managed better.

When a situation has arisen that I disapprove of or that I have strong feelings about something in particular I will often be the last to voice my opinion. I watch, I wait and above all I listen. I see a lot of this. Many a time I see the sheer anxiety of an individual who is looking to always stay ahead. Their voices are often loud, their speech often pressured and are easily angered. I listen to so much, oh so much more than I want to hear at times. Insecurities, prejudice, hatred, selfishness and at times genuine feelings. You see all these things are unmasked, but only visible to those who wish to see it. Many a time people are constantly thinking: but only within their own box.

So why do I mask mine? Well, because it teaches me how to be stronger. Very often my feelings are strong and can overwhelm me. I am sensitive. I am often told by friends, family and colleagues that ‘you look and sound normal. you’re ok surely’, this couldn’t be further from the truth. There are two elements there: firstly the assumptions that I look and sound fine must mean to them that I am fine and secondly the insensitivity of not asking how I actually am. This is where masking comes in. It is where I control and effectively manage my emotions, not allowing the opposite person know what is going on within you but also not lying to them either. (No one deserves to be lied to). If an individual is too opinionated about me already, nothing I say will make the slightest bit of difference to whatever idea they already possess and furthermore, if this individual does not hold the ability to actually ask me then telling them I am not fine would be a complete waste of time for the both of us. Masking allows me to deal with the issue at hand in the way that best suits me. It is not influenced by people’s own experiences or opinions. It prevents me from feeling vulnerable in presence of individuals and rather than being negative about it, I reflect and I learn. Masking decreases my expectations from people, it makes me self-sufficient. I often find that I do not need to compete with anyone and am more satisfied with life. Often it can help in situations at work, opinions worsen a state of affairs and sometimes having a rational, often factual point can help manage it better. Such strong opinions can hurt others, curbing them or portraying them in a more productive manner can often prevent situations from arising which may otherwise become difficult to manage.

Those that know I mask often say to me that it makes me more vulnerable and I isolate myself. This is simply untrue. When speaking to people who do listen and understand I will say how I actually feel. I just don’t have precious time to waste on those who simply do not understand. Masking in a protective factor for me, and it gives me a freedom which many others do not possess. It even allows me to takes things less personally. Less personal interactions/friends/family = less agony, less pain and less grief. Yet in the world people are not happy with this idea that people like myself like their own company. It does not make me anti-social, it makes me selfish perhaps yes but it certainly does not mean I have lost all faith in humans. I just choose who I want to mask my feelings from and who I wish to share them with. Not all are entitled to know my feelings, particularly if they do not understand and cannot make the time to understand them. Masking is such a productive tool for me and I am much happier and satisfied as an individual. My though patterns, and my feelings are more effectively channelled in the right direction and in the right manner for me.

Best Wishes,
Maahi PM