One of the challenges in life is that it’s effortless to make quick judgments without fully understanding the situation. To truly comprehend something, requires compassion, patience, and an open mind to acknowledge that even well-intentioned individuals can make mistakes. This is a crucial skill that doctors must possess in their practice.
Recently a 28-year-old girl came to the clinic. She was wearing a mask and so I didn’t see her face. She was reluctant to lift her gaze and I waited till she felt comfortable opening up to me.
‘Doctor, I am not able to sleep and it’s been a year’, she said in a fragile voice.
‘I have been getting headaches and sleepless nights. I have been feeling irritated for so long. I started taking sleeping pills and I became dependent on the pills. My mornings were so drowsy. I would lay on the bed for hours looking at the ceiling.
I had no desire to get up and start another day.’
I tried committing suicide a few months back. I consumed 30 sleeping pills. Fortunately, my neighbour broke open the door in time. He took me to the hospital and I survived.
I have been listening to her patiently, and when she stopped speaking, I kept probing her. When I asked her what she does for a living, she removed the mask from her face and said she is a model. She was very beautiful just like the glamour dolls.
I kept asking about her work and other things. When someone is opening up to you, the worst thing to offer is silence, so I kept the conversation going. I checked her pulse. It was 110 per minute. She was very anxious. Her blood pressure was tapping 140/90.
‘Why are you so anxious?’, I asked.
‘Sir, corona destroyed my life’, tears rolled down her cheeks.
I thought it was the usual ordeal faced by many artists in the times of Corona. Many artists have come forward and talked about their financial and emotional troubles caused by the lockdown.
So, I said, ‘Things will improve, we all have to be patient to get through these tough times. Many people, especially in your industry are suffering. This pandemic has affected every single person on this planet.
She laughed sarcastically and said, ‘I wish my story was anything like them, that would have been a blessing. Doctor, I didn’t get an opportunity to model in my initial years. I am a high-profile call girl and have been serving the elite class of politicians and businessmen for the last 5 years.
In April, I got Corona from a client in Hyderabad. My condition was very serious. I developed pneumonia and I was on a ventilator for 5 days. It cost me 35 lakhs but somehow, I survived and I don’t know why?!
Since recovery, my clients have deserted me. No one has contacted me for a year. This time of retrospection and self-reflection is killing me. I feel ashamed of myself. I didn’t want to live this life.
One of my friends got me a job as a receptionist in an office and it’s keeping me busy. I have been feeling a lot better since then. I want to start a new life and that’s why Shweta sent me to you!
After three follow-up visits within a 45-day span, she successfully implemented all of my recommendations and returned to a state of normalcy. She prioritized self-love and forgiveness, regularly took the Ayurvedic medicines I prescribed for her anxiety, depression, and sleep, read the recommended books, and practiced pranayama. Additionally, she joined Isha Yoga online as I had suggested.
However, the most significant aspect of our encounter was that I refrained from judging her. As she leaves my clinic, she carries with her the hope that there are still people who are understanding and forgiving, which encourages her to forgive herself and believe that there is still a chance for a better future.
A year later, the girl returned to my clinic with her boyfriend. They both looked happy and radiant and surprised me with an invitation to their wedding. As they shared their plans for the future, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of pride and joy knowing that she had overcome her struggles. Witnessing someone successfully overcome their hardships and come out stronger is one of the most fulfilling experiences for a doctor. It reminded me that showing compassion and understanding can make a significant impact on someone’s life, and sometimes that’s all it takes to help them through difficult times.