Sunday, 30 July 2017

Lesson: Thoughts are Different From Feelings; Therapy, Mental Health

The session started with Ish asking me to read out the 'aftermath'. That's what she calls notes on how i felt during and after the previous session with her. I read out relevant portions from the note i'd written.

She told me that treatment for mental illnesses was available in all government hospitals by law and that it was affordable too. I don't know. I think Ish is really good at what she does and i am not too sure if the same kind of treatment will be available at affordable rates in hospitals. In Calicut, 7 years ago, a sitting with the psychologist cost Rs. 300. In Kolkata, it was Rs. 600. Here, it is Rs. 1500.

Ish told me that i was right about her questions regarding my suicide attempts. It was required of her to assess how close to death every attempt was. I forgot what she told me about the reason why.

She then told me that the rest of it were my thoughts and not my feelings. It was only then that it struck me that thoughts and feelings were different. Whenever i thought that someone i love very dearly was going to die, it was just my thought. What i was feeling, was perhaps anxiety. Don't know.

I tried jotting down how i was feeling before, during and after therapy like she had asked me to do.

Before going, i was eager. To know the methods of therapy. For the kind of questions she would ask. I was hopeful that i'd be able to figure myself out answering these questions.

She didn't ask me too many questions. Just asked me to speak about how i ended up in SRFTI. During the session, i felt it was all going to be pointless. That i would just end up repeating everything like how i had to, to reporters who called without doing their homework, to write about sexual harassment in SRFTI. When i looked back at myself when i was in college, where my filmmaking began, i felt sad. I remembered the abusive relationship i was in, before my first suicide attempt, deciding to make a film while in a bed in PVS hospital, Calicut. I didn't narrate these but i remembered all of that. I remembered how that man had come to the studio where i was editing my film and had pronounced that it wasn't a short film. 'You don't even know what it is called. It is a telefilm. Not a short film,' he had said. In the auto, he had asked me repeatedly if i wanted a bigger dick, if that was why i was sleeping with a lot of people behind his back. Ish noted that this man was paranoid. Yes, i said, in complete agreement.

When i was talking about how i hopped from one relationship to another, and when i mentioned a sexual interaction i had, she asked me if it was a one-time thing. I immediately thought that i was being judged. I was scared i would be judged and that the judgement would affect the way Ish looked at my case altogether. I felt like saying that i was not someone who even believed in a sex-only relationship or one-off things or having multiple sexual partners. All these would have to wait. It was all going back to the time when i was 17 and when everything started going wrong. I don't know how many sessions it's going to take for me to cover all of these.

After the session, the week that followed, wasn't that great. I was worried. Wanted to cry a lot many times but hardly did. When Sethuvamma whatsapped me about having ordered 'Ministry of Utmost Happiness' to me, i cried. Thinking of how much i have made her go through. I felt guilty most of the time i spoke to her. 

Sethuvamma gifted me this and i didn't thank her enough. Felt sad about that.

In office, i mingled more but was again scared that it would end up being like SRFTI. I knew that most of the people there were like folks in SRFTI. Only yesterday did a co-worker say that someone 'raped' a cake to say that he cut it in a haphazard manner. 'Gay jokes' are cracked, constantly. Boss's relationship with an employee is made fun of. So i am constantly scared, when i open up even a bit. That one day, i will say what i think and they will all turn against me. 

Felt helpless and anxious throughout the week. Thinking of filmmaking career. Anxiety about not getting a script or a story to write and not being able to do anything with the novel. Helplessness when i went to look for broadband connection and they said that they couldn't provide service in my flat. Helplessness when cigarette was being charged more by the shopkeepers. I tried calling consumer care and ITC. They didn't respond. As a result of this, when Sethuvamma called i couldn't sound happy. I felt bad that i didn't call her to say that i'd received the book. Victimising self. Felt that i was a victim when i tried to repair the laptop, spent Rs.1400 and came back to see that the problem persisted. I would have to go back there on Monday. Suspect swindling.  

It was lined with sadness, the whole week.

[Highlights on my feelings for me to read out when i go for therapy tomorrow.]

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