My son gets up early and fetches a cab. He agrees to see his brother off in the school bus. I leave for the clinic. I walk into a sliding door (a remarkable feat, I know), but am unhurt.
The day brings a spate of bad news, starting with the demise of my brother in law. A friend brings me food, and I’m grateful.
I actually de-clutter the bookshelves.
By noon, though, there is more bad news – the universe really seems to be conspiring against us. I feel defeated and done for. The boys treat me as if I’m fragile. Their insecurity does not really register. Everything seems surreal.
The friend comes over again, driving down all the way, along with a tired husband and a coughing child. They say blood is thicker than water, but it’s water we look for, when we’re thirsty. I’m thankful for the little water I have.
The morning session of intense cleansing is over, and it actually seems bearable. What seems unbearable is the nagging anxiety about what the rest of the day might bring.
I decide that action is the best cure for anxiety and depression, and set about getting things done. I get some work done, and with the house looking neater, feel a little better. The thought that there are just two more days of the treatment left also helps.
I go all out on the taking resolutions front. I resolve to be healthier, happier and wiser. I resolve to look for more financially viable career options. I resolve to live a more disciplined and clutter-free life. (For no logical reason, these days de-cluttering seems to me to be the ultimate solution to all life’s problems.) I even resolve to learn driving.
My face and head feels perpetually hot and I long for the touch of aqua pura. I have been making occasional Freudian slips like unconsciously throwing handfuls of water on my face, only to wipe it up hurriedly in a rush of guilt and fear of consequences.
Just when I am beginning to think that I can get used to anything – including swipes across the brain with something sharp and spiky – I’m rudely reminded otherwise. While returning home in the taxi, my eyes burn unusually badly. By the time I reach home, I feel as if parts of my brain have caught fire. I keep telling myself this too shall pass, but it doesn’t. All I want is to pull out those offending bits of my neck and head from my body.
I call the doctor. I’m assured that it’s quite normal, sometimes it is worse, and yes, this too shall indeed pass. I apply the medicine that I’d been given, and ask my son to put some music on. He puts on a CD that turns out to be a VCD, and I stop him from changing it. I need the distraction. To assuage my guilt, I lie down facing the backrest of the couch and close my eyes. The pain slowly ebbs.
Now I have only the rest of the day to get through. A call from school is picked up with anxiety, but turns out to be about something worth looking forward to – vague, solid as air, but certainly something resembling a ray of hope. Something that I desperately need at the moment.
I head towards the clinic with mixed feelings – relieved that it’s the last day, and anxious that yesterday will repeat itself.
It doesn’t. And it’s finally over. I’m warned against over-doing things, at least for the coming week. I feel so tired that I’m in danger of under-doing things. There are mouths to feed and dishes to do.
My husband is returning tomorrow, and that thought gives me a little more energy. I tackle the house once again, and end up exhausted. I listen to another 50 pages or so of Coraline.
They say idle mind is devil’s workshop. But compulsory physical idleness opens up worse possibilities. I ponder on the past, the present, the future and then again the past. I analyse my present and it leads me to the past. I try to think about future, but am not able to hold on to it for long – I end up in the past again.
It’s finally ‘and so to bed’ time and I heave a sigh. It’s really over.
Seven whole days of introspection and retrospection, and intense self-analysis. I’m left with a whole lot of reasons, justifications, explanations and excuses. Now all I need are solutions.
Well, I need something to do with the rest of my life, after all.