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    A THERAPIST'S ROUND TRIP TO HELL (Back to contents)
         
It was me.....though hard to believe when I viewed myself in the mirror
for hours together, which had reflected a face with absolutely no smile
or cheer, perhaps of an eternally unhappy soul.
Two months had passed since I had arrived in the United States as a
foriegn therapist ( or as an "alien' according to the US govt ! ) My
father's then recent death, the initial adjustments I had to make to the
new environment, weather, language, culture etc., had affected me
deeply, but still were not the full reason for my slide into a
depressive episode.
The catalyst for this mood was the humiliation  I suffered in a nursing
home I first worked, at the hands of a   co-worker  who took advantage
of my ignorance of the new culture, my mild personality and my weak
language skills. The tactics he used shook my little confidence I had
possssed that time. 

All of my grief had accumulated in me, but I let no one know because of
shame and ego. Eventually, I started experiencing physical symptoms.
Minor things would frighten me. My breathing took an uncomfortable pace.
I lost sleep and would cry behind locked doors or alone while driving
the car.Driving became difficult and storm of fear would grip me . That
pain combined with fear sat tight in my xiphoid process . I started
losing directions easily.
At work the situation got much more complicated. The staff meetings and
patient care meetings would seem to be a nightmare to me, since my
articulation of speech would be abruptly cut off, with words hanging in
mid-air, as my thought process had begun to suffer damage. The trauma
became so intense at one point that I feared  my fading knowledge could
cost my job. 
I was even unable to admire the beauty of the fall season when it
arrived. Also my vain efforts to change the attitude of my merciless
co-worker failed. To the friends & roommates with whom I lived, I was
obviously a poor company. Throughout this episode, not one but several
friends gave me a helping hand. If I had to point out one single person
responsible for my victory over this illness however, it would be an
intimate friend to whom I would ask at least a dozen times a day, " Will
I be alright ". 

Surpassing all the extreme symptoms, it finally occurred to me that I
should return to my motherland India,  no matter what people think about
me. I had by then vainly taken my licensing examinatiions in which I
apparently flunked.  Deep in my mind I had remembered my friend re-
emphasising to me before boarding the plane, that the only solution to
this problem would be to try meditation and exercises.
When I arrived in India, my brother-in law took me to a place where I
was re-born as a man of high self esteem and courage. The "Temple of
Consiousness" as it is called is situated in Neyveli, South India. The
head of the temple became my Guru and I had  recovered remarkably
fast to everybody's surprise. By the end of my fourth class I was
capable of narrating my personal experience via an audio-taped message
to the several members assembled there.
This slightly modified "Gundalini" Yogic meditation is a form of
idealistic and illusionary where a person paradises to focus on the '
Centered Consiousness" in an easy posture, founded by Yogiraj Vedhathtri
Maharishi who runs the World Community Centre in the city of Madras. It
is based on the theory that changes in climate, planetory movts &
hereditary character impact our bodies and function. To shield from
these we have to train ourselves the various means to increase the self
defence mechanisms, by exercising both the body and mind as they are
directly proportional to each other. Apart from its therapeutic effects,
the ultimate long term benefits are decreased fear and anxiety,
resulting in a worry free soul and blissful life.
A couple of months later I returned to the US fully re-vitalised. Before
leaving India, I had fallen in love and became focussed on my efforts to
get married. It was an added balm to my aching soul which brought new
miracles in my life. Not long after, I flew home to India once again-
this time for my wedding.
I returned to the US hoping to behave well this time, passed my
licensing examination and thus finally re-established my life goals.
Later, I called upon my Guru to complain that my 'Centered Consiousness'
during meditation was being faced with a new distraction  - a shadow of
my wife's face. My Guru could not help laughing and said, "You better
take a break " . I obediently suspended my meditation temporarily. In
just a couple of round trips home and back, my life had been wonderfully
renewed.
(  newsletter article of WRPH hospital, Michigan, published 1997 )
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