If Dad hadn’t found me on the road that day then I would have probably died there because going back did not cross my mind again. Compliments to dad’s acute observation powers because he was a few yards away from the road and was able to recognize me even though I hadn’t bathed in 54 days, shaved or had a hair cut and was still in the same clothes which were beyond recognition. My first reaction on seeing him was how come he was there? When I sat in the car with him, he wanted to take me to a psychiatry ward in a reputed mental health hospital of Delhi but first I asked him if we could eat something at Rahmatullah restaurant in Old Delhi. He was in such a shock that he did not utter a single word for the next two hours except when he put his foot down since the owner of the restaurant would not allow a destitute or untouchable to enter the eating area when Dad convinced him that I was his son. From there we went to VIMHANS in South Delhi to reunite with my shrinks and psychologists. A doctor came by and ran his key against my barefoot sole and asked me who I was? Without flinching I said the date and it was the 55th day since I had left my house. This is the only thing that I did when I woke up every morning on the roads. Recollect the date and count the number of days I had been away. Two ward boys were given Rs 500 to give me a wash completely stripped down, a nurse cut my nails and mom had reached with my clothes. Close friends of Dad and a dear friend of my brother had also turned up. I was put on Olimelt 10mg and a drip to replenish the essential fluids and for the first couple of days I did not have a control over my piss even going to the extent of wetting my surgical gown. The hospital was charging 10k a day and by the third day I was off with my dad to a nearby KFC at Lajpat Nagar and finished a full bucket all by myself. I was always someone with a scarecrow physique and a paunch was a new experience which I didn’t see coming. To this day, dad says the fact that I ran away from the house puts him in a bad light because as a father nothing can be more embarrassing. He refuses to go back with me even if I want to look back fondly because the thought of finding me the way it happened has left an indelible mark on his sub conscious.
|The Mind Wanders|
The trouble with Anti-psychotic medication is that you can’t fight it after you get used to it because no matter how meticulously you taper it, it still hits you with a ton of bricks and there is no hiding from it. One of my best friends who was a doctor had told me that a human develops to his/her potential till 26 and then a gradual decline takes shape. Now I saw it coming. My digestive system went for a toss not only because I was putting on weight like an elephant but even when I did think of exerting myself physically I took a dump in my pyjamas and did not know where to turn. Even when I went for get togethers with my friends from school and college, I was a caricature of myself because the dosage completely changed my personality with a couple of my friends telling me that I wasn’t the same anymore. If ever you want to have a good night’s rest, pop this pill and you would have the sweetest 12-13 hours of hibernation. Not only does it overpower by making you lethargic, it made me stop talking by almost 80% with my relatives questioning me if I had become too formal. There is a lot of water retention due to the tablet which makes one put on weight by the kilos in a jiffy. This can be accentuated with the example of when I went to get my snaps from a photographer so that I could put it up online for marriage purposes and the dude tells me, “Sir, please pull your tummy inside” Even after doing it thrice, he told me that I had to reduce. My business was also not going great guns and I wasn’t productive at the end of the day. I decided to run again in a disciplined manner every day. I did 5.2 kms in half an hour on the road by limiting myself to brunch and dinner which finally started to show after a month. I also started to brush a couple of times so that I could face myself in the mirror, pun intended.
Dad was relentless in his pursuit to keep me on meds but it had been approximately four years on it and I was loosing it. Tried to taper to a great deal but the medicine had a stranglehold. Dad thought that the effect of the medication was waning so my travels started across the length and breadth of Delhi for some succor. VIMHANS, AIIMS, Moolchand Hospital etc. I kid you not, I met at least ten different psychiatrists in different hospitals. I met Dr. Jitendar at his house for which the onward journey was 30 kms and he took 2.5k for a sitting. While treating me he appeared on national television, NDTV, in a panel discussion. The problem with psychiatrists is that they dole out medicines like there is no tomorrow whereas I was looking for a clinical psychologist who would listen and provide a holistic approach. Eventually I was shifted to Sulpitac 400, another anti-psychotic, but without the side effects. These pills relieve one of the thought process and imagination and I am narrating or sharing everything from memory.
I am down to the last stretch of 100 mg and should be off in the next few months in consultation with the stake holders including my wife because it is imperative that I start thinking for the future for the two (Perke included) It is the need of the hour and now I have to see from the eyes of my son. Being bi polar has it’s disadvantages like being in a constant state of flux, short tempered, high irritability quotient, reactive rather than pro-active and my wife would marry a second time around such would be the difference in personalities not to mention the depressive phases and how I would deal with them. Lord have mercy and show me the right path, if not for me then for my family. To celebrate the normalcy, I would be spending 50k to ink my entire arm from shoulder to hand to reminisce about the times gone by without my thoughts and the general theme would be suicide and how I can be inspired to not go for it. Let’s just keep it for a separate day, shall we?