Suzy, my last patient on New Year’s Eve gave me a hug, and a smile through her tears as she left. In her fist she clutched my email address, which she said would be her anchor in times of ‘need’. She had resigned herself to sailing away from the British Isles working once more in a casino on a cruiser set for the Far East.
Suzy reckoned she had no prospects of a job nearer to home and without income, faced homelessness. She came from a broken family, there was nowhere else for her to go, and she had not a penny in savings. The cruiser job will ‘at least provide me a roof with food’ and this time ‘I’ll try and save money’. The cruiser would bring back memories though. Memories so distressing that Suzy would refuse to allow our 5th year medical student to sit in on her consultation with me.
She sobbed as she related how the trust and hopes she had carefully placed in the ‘man of her dreams’ whom she met on her previous cruiser job had turned out to be unfounded. The loss of face, and faith she experienced threatened her previously fragile mental health.
Despite a past medical history of self-harm, she had seriously addressed her own health. As she was a young hypertensive, she took regular exercise, was careful about her diet, alcohol intake, and had successfully stopped smoking. This had not been easy in the working environment of a cruiser casino.
Now Suzy felt dreadfully dejected, hopeless, worthless and scarred. Her previous experience told her that antidepressants or sleeping pills offered no real or long-term solutions, but she needed ‘something doctor’.
Suzy had heard of my interest in the science of the soul, and I explained to her that although her pains were so acute, and her mind so anguished and her life so lonely there was still knowledge available from the Vedas that she could utilize to find her way out. She was immediately interested, commenting that she felt a sense of peace whenever she came.
Over the next two consultations, Suzy grasped surprisingly quickly, and to her great advantage the basic Vedic teachings that ‘we are not this body’. She could well relate to the fact that despite the abuse she had had, and how her body had changed from childhood to youth to now in her 30’s, she herself remained distinct, and constant, and Suzy was prepared to accept this as her ‘soul’. The next Vedic Teaching that the soul is not damaged by processes that damage the body, or even the mind was particularly healing for Suzy.
While the characteristics of the body made of material elements are that it ages, becomes in one way or another diseased, and eventually dies, the characteristics of the soul are sat, cit, and ananda vigraha meaning eternal, full of cognizance, and joyfulness/peace.
Suzy realized that rather than concentrating on the ills of her body, and perceived distress in her mind, if she focused on further understanding and realizing the nature of her soul, she had an optimistic future. So empowered she felt that another working trip on the liner became a prospect for her.
Thanks to Dr. Patel for this story.