Lucid Dream I by Swati Singla - HTML preview

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LUCID DREAM 00001.jpg00002.jpgBy:SwatiSingla

11. PIHU

00003.jpgDate: 10.10.2014 Institution: CAMH (Centre for addiction and Mental Health), Toronto. Ontario
Psychiatrist: Dr Sarabjeet Walia
Patient’s particulars: Name: Tyler Stewart

Gender: Male Age: 21 Treated for: Depressive Illness

CAMH recommended to patient by a general practitioner. Patient earlier treated for milder depression by the same GP. He has attended counseling services and drop in centers without any positive outcome.
But lately the depressive symptoms are more severe. The symptoms include depressive mood most of the day. Markedly has diminished interest in all activities. Significant weight loss, a change of more than 5 % of body weight in a month. Insomnia. Addiction to few drugs. Recurrent thoughts of death.

Analysis: I consider the illness to be severe, though the events that may have triggered its onset are yet to be determined. Besides psychosocial interventions, I recommend a biological treatment for the patient. Psychotherapy will be secondary to the use of medication. A day’s dose of serzone (nefazodone) is given and the patient is booked in for another session at 10.30 am on 11.10.2014.

I finished the last note ofthe dayand shut mycyber pad restingthe penonits side. The computer logged me offina blink saying“Sayonara Dr Walia”.
It’s beensayingthis for about a year now, since Choualtered it.
I stared at the clock impassively. It was five minutes past seven.
This was the time ofthe dayI wishcould be erased frommylife.
Time to go home.
Ifa place where youuse a bed to sleep and a restroomto shower is a home, thenyes it is myhome. Three blocks awayfromthe hospital.

Three fourthofmysalarygoes inthe mortgage repayment ofthat one bedroomapartment, leavingme just adequate amount to buygroceries and paybills. I do manage to put some inemergencysavings account everyalternate month.

It’s just a habit. I’llnever need it. I have medicaland accidentalinsurances, whichwilltake care ofmybills ifI end up disabled or sick anytime inlife.
And there is no personthat willlook up to me incase ofanemergency.
Family, yeahI have heard that word somewhere.

A dad who left mymother before mybirthand never came back for me, givingme a feelingthat I was bornto a virginmother just like Christ, doesn’t ought to count for a family. And a mother who paid for a sinwhichshe didn’t atone inthe first place was left withme as a reminder ofher failed arranged marriage, thoughshe happilyaccepted it and gave 21 years to more thanjust feed me. Three years ago she did what she must have done a longago. Remarriage.

Paulis a nice guy. He has a sonfroma previous marriage. His exwife died ofcancer and it surelytook hima longtime to overcome despair.
Theylook like a happyfamilyto me.
But evenifmymother wants me to be, I amnot a part ofit.
I stayawayfromher onpurpose. I amjust a reminder ofa tragedythat costed her, her youth. She deserves better.
Friends, I don’t have and don’t need. The whole point ofstayingnear to work is to escape anycontact withthe world that exists outside home and this hospital. I amnot social. I have tried to go out for drinks or dinner withwork colleagues sometimes but it doesn’t work.

ThoughI ama psychiatrist but I have failed to cure mymood disorders. The transitoryblues lead to prolonged depressionwhenI amout ofhome except for work. I know it is an illness.

I amtakingmedicationfor it.
But that doesn’t make me similar to Tyler Stewart inanyways.
I amill, I amnot insane.
The first questionhe asked me echoed againinmymind “Why must I live doctor?”
I irritated picked up mybag, turned offthe light and walked out into the helter skelter ofthe world.
The corridor was overflowingwithpeople, evenat this hour ofthe day. Eacheye was onthe Led displays flashingthe numbers inthe queue.

I offered to work extra hours to take offsome burdenfromthe eveningdoctors but myapplicationwas declined. Thoughthe medicalpractitioners are exempted fromthe labor standard hours ofwork but the people above doubted myevenhandedness to patients after 7 inthe eveningor after a 12 hours shift.

But theyare consideringusingme for eveningshifts innear future.
It’s the busiest time ofthe day.
Anextensive darkness, aneccentric seclusionand everythingexcept for peace is not just myidea ofa night.
Peace. Isn’t it a strange word?
Ifit’s not insocializing, it’s neither insolitude. The quieter I become the more I hear.
I advise mypatients everydaythat acceptance is the first step to inner calm. But I know acceptance is the hardest part to achieve.
The remorse for somethingthat happened yesterdayhas become initiatingfactor ofmylife and also ofmanyofmypatients.
I was onthe verge oflosingmyselffew years back. Whenmypsychiatrist told don’t agonize, organize.
And now I have a job and a house. I amorganized but I amno less agonized.

I don’t have the abilityto forgive people who have left me allalone. Why was I not a priority to them? Why didn’t they think what will I do, where will I go, How will I survive?


Theyleft me laid onthe cold hard ground to live and die alone. Where did I go wrong? You just can’t turn your back on me and leave one day, you’ll have to give me reasons. Why? Was I nothing?

I have so manyquestions but apparentlythe answers have vanished withthose acquaintances.
Theymade me feelthat I don’t know who theywere, at all. The time and love I put to build up those relationships has gone invain. And the tragedyis that theyhave forgottenme, but I can’t forget them. Evenifit’s costingme mylife.
Everytime someone asks me ifI amokay, it’s just a reminder that I’mnot. I amcryinginside whenI amnot feelingempty. It’s exhaustingpretendingliving, to breathe inand out alldaylong.
But someone once told me “Be kind when you are sad. If you’ll become light to others God will show you light”. I amactingkind ever since. That’s what I do 12 hours a day, but I see no light. Maybe that was a lie too just like the other statements.

I walked throughthe city. It was late but people seemed more awake thenever. Lights lit up inthe night and signs flashed. I could hear horns blaringeverywhere. The stars managed to twinkle and retaina charminallthe mock worldlylights. Skyscrapers reached up farther thaneye could see.

And thenthere was another face ofthis city, veryclear to me. Under the florescent lights it was a landscape painted bya palette ofdarkness. Inthe hustle and bustle ofnight my eyes also contemplated the street signs directingthe emptylanes oftraffic and the night lights standingwatchover the emptycorridors ofresidentialbuildings. This is a citywhere large darkened plazas are peppered witha face or two and there is also a solitarydriver returningfor the night.

I stopped at the Thaitake awayperfunctorily. This place has beenfeedingme supper for past one year. The place was bright as usualand the music whichwas playingwas not trulyauthenticalbut maybe somethingfromBali. I didn’t linger to gaze at the menu. I know myorder. I have decided a mealoptionfor eachdayina week. It’s not just convenient. It’s a habit. A veryold habit. I have had a time table for meals allmylife.

Hey dhoctor” Ung, the little girlat the counter wished charminglyinher typicalaccent. “Hi Ung, How are you?”
Everythingthat came out ofmythroat outside the hospitalwas tiresomelypredictable.
Good. Yourself?” Ungalways wanted to talk more, somethingthat was more thancourtesyessentiallydemanded.
Good Thanks. Can I have a mixture of garlic mushroom with steamed jasmine rice” I said witha smile.
She was grabbinga cardboard boxbefore the words were out ofmymouth.
Nice top dhoc” she mumbled smilingfillingthe boxes.
Thanks” I whispered.

Myclothes come fromhome shop magazines or fromonline shops. Ladies would prefer dyeingrather thandoingthat. But I don’t have tendencyto go around shopping, spending hours inladies tryrooms.

The top is baggyand too formal; I don’t think Ung actuallymeans what she is saying.
I think ifone dayI just disappear nobodywould notice except for her.

I used to think the same about someone who was so similar to Ung. Someone who is engraved like a scar inmymemories. Maybe Ungis the reasonI have beencomingto this place for one year now.

Thanks. Have a good night.” I murmured takingthe change and the boxes fromher.
The boxes were stillscorchingagainst myfreezinghands whenI reached mybuilding.

A huge brownenvelope whichseemed prettyheavywas badlychucked into mymailbox. It took me a lot ofeffort to pullit out safely. There were another two envelopes. I emptied mymailboxand unthinkinglyrushed towards the lift twistingthe brownpacket inmyhand.

It took me a microsecond to reachthe 22 ndfloor. I threw mybagonthe table and quicklysplashed water onmyface once inthe apartment. I got changed to night dress and took the boxes and the envelopes to sit inmywindow bed. The view ofthe cityfromthis wallsize mirror was stunningat night, but somethingI wasn’t interested in. One ofthe white envelopes had mysuperannuationstatement. Few randomcharities were the beneficiaryto mysuper as for some reasonmomdeclined to become the nominee.

Another envelope was mybank statement, I knew without evennotchingit.


It was the quiet or else myheart was beatingcautiouslybut the sound ofthe beat was waytoo loud, whenI was openingthe brownpacket. It didn’t mentionthe sender’s name onthe envelope but the stamps told me it was fromoverseas, fromIndia.


There was a letter and a diary. A veryfeminine pink diary. Somethingwhichcouldn’t be found inmarket now days. It seemed old but wellkept. And I remember seeingit somewhere.


Few pages were stapled together, it seemed like a letter. At everymail, everysingle day, deep downI wishit is fromIndia, fromthat someone. ThoughI also know that would never happen. There would be no apologyand there would be no forgiveness.


I started readingdizzily.