As promised, my post today is going to be about the story of the well. My current read (well, am sort of reading like four books at the moment), is Veronika Decides To Die by Paulo Coelho, my best author so far,to say the least. He has a way of connecting with my thoughts and with my soul. His literature has provided me with great insights about my life and answered life questions, that I had pondered on before I discovered his work. Some day, I hope to make such a connection with my readers.
The tale is about a lady called Veronika. She decides that she wants to die, not because she is depressed or sad or experiencing any pain. She wants to die because she feels like her life is on repeat. She feels like everything in her life is stagnated. Like there’s nothing more to life. If there ends up being any additions, maybe pain and illness that comes with old age. She would rather end her life while she’s at her peak, than wait it out and see her life going downhill. Another reason she desires to take her life, is because she feels like the world is full of calamity that she can’t control. So deciding when to die gives her a sense of power and control. To the lay man’s mind,these sound like pretty stupid reasons, right? but sadly there are people who actually feel this way! (refer to my blog To Be or Not to be?! and World Suicide Prevention Day: Types of suicide for more about suicide)
Veronika attempts suicide but she fails. Instead,she wakes up at mental hospital. One night as she surreptitiously surveys the institution,looking for a way to escape and complete her task of dying, she is caught by one of the nurses, who she gets into an argument with, about her being in a mental assylum because she is crazy. However, Veronika is in denial about her so-called “craziness”. She is convinced that she is not crazy,she only attempted to take her life. One of the patients,upon hearing the conversation between Veronika and the nurse,tells Veronika to go see her after lights out so she could explain to her who a crazy person is.They execute their plan and Zedka, the lady Veronika had been newly acquainted with, tells her several stories. One of them being a story about a poisoned well. This is how it goes…
There lived a wizard who wanted to destroy a kingdom so he poisoned the public well. The people drunk from it and they all went mad. Fortunately, the king and his family, who drank water from a special water source, did not get affected by this epidemic. When the king tried to do damage control and issue public health measures,the whole kingdom turned on him and wanted to impeach him. Why? They were convinced their king was mad! The queen noted that the people went mad after drinking water from the well. She advised the king that they drink from the well too, so that they could reason like the rest of the kingdom. They did exactly that! and the people related with the king after he went mad because according to them,he was reasoning! Following the new developments,they allow him to rule the kingdom. It was a kingdom of mad men but the only people who could see this were the neighboring kingdoms….THE END 🙂
This story really amused me because it made so much sense! Well, at least to me. People are always calling others crazy because they act in a way that isn’t conventional as per the set societal expectations. Have you ever asked yourself if someone considers you crazy,or weird? Because trust me hunny,somebody out there does! and frankly, I wear my craziness with pride. It’s what makes me different and I’m totally in love with being myself.
I usually cringe when someone calls a mentally ill or challenged person, crazy or mad. Who really gives us the right to call them that? If anything, they pretty much see us as crazy in their eyes. When I practiced psychotherapy, I always tried to correct people whenever they asked me, “so you work with mad people?” No hunny, they just have mental health issues, they’re not mad. Honestly, they may be the realest people I have ever dealt with. Vulnerable and true, nonconformists.Somehow, I think there is a slight privilege in being considered “crazy” because you get a free pass to do anything and everything! I mean, didn’t you just wish that you were crazy after that realization? Even for a millisecond? No? Okay.
Dealing with mental health patients gave me a whole new perspective. I realized that some of them are very normal people, the only difference is that their mind is impaired. It’s an illness like any other. Mental illness,having experienced depression,is not pleasant at all. It’s constantly battling with your mind for control over your life. It’s constantly feeling emotions you wish you would never have to feel and always wondering why you feel them. It’s constantly living a lie,because you have to pretend to be okay when it’s a hurricane inside. It’s constant exhaustion from all the fighting you do from within because everyone expects you to be fine on the outside…” You’re a strong person,aren’t you? So act like it!”… It’s catastrophic! For lack of a better word. So please,my dear readers, always try to be sensitive when dealing with someone who is suffering from mental health issues. Don’t call them mad/crazy/insane, they are people like you and I. Don’t tell them things like, “get over it,it’s all in the mind”, have you forgotten that it’s their mind that is ill or impaired? It may be hard to understand what they are going through, but if it makes you feel any better, half the time, they also don’t know what they are going through! All you can do is be present,show affection. It goes a long way in recovery.
When I started this blog, my greatest goal was to sensitize people about mental health. To educate people because sometimes ignorance is what causes discrimination and stigma. If you understand something about someone, you would be more sensitive and considerate of their welfare. I’ll try my best, where I can, to enlighten you more on mental health issues because I feel like people aren’t talking enough about it and people are not in the know about the issue at hand. If you’re out there and you suffer from a mental health condition, you are not alone. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you feel there’s an issue you would like addressed in my blog or even if you want to have a chat to feel better in your low moments, I’ll be at your service. Until next time…
With love and light!