I hadn’t heard from him in a while. We became friends for a while after I left my first hospital stay. He was a psychiatrist at the clinic I was at and there he played a very important role for me. I was happy to receive his birthday notification, through Facebook, first thing in the morning, when I picked up my cell phone. I decided to go in and send congratulations. On the page, instead of greetings, there were tributes: he had died at the end of last year.
I write all this in a bit of shock because he was a support at a very difficult time in my life. I don’t really know how to express what I felt. A movie played in my head (a classic when you know someone has died, but not really a cliché).
On the first night of hospitalization, I had difficulty sleeping and was reading next to the doctors’ room. Everything seemed hazy, uncertain, sad. He came over, he was on duty, and I was sure he was going to get scolded for not being in bed. But not.
Paulo asked me what I was reading and why I was hospitalized. He showed himself to be human, the first to give me a warmth that I didn’t feel at any point on that hellish day. It is common, at least it happened to me in all the hospitalizations I have been through, that the people who work in the clinic treat the inmates badly.
I understand, at least in my case: an active alcoholic, she was very manipulative and used seduction to get things — I’m not talking about sexual seduction, which is the first thing that comes to mind when we see the word. No, that seduction of smiles and invisible winks of complicity. In a clinic, everyone has expertise in this trait of interns and needs to protect themselves.
That night we talked a little. I was relieved and managed to sleep. The next day, the first morning at the hospital, it was tough. I woke up with the feeling of not knowing where I was, until little by little I realized it. I had reached the beginning of the end for an addict: hospitalization. I wasn’t hungry, I didn’t want anything, I didn’t see people smiling at me. But I went ahead and started eating some because I had to. Paulo came in, waved at me and said, “Hang in there, girl.” I understood that your shift was over.
That week at the clinic was difficult, very lonely days, and I was waiting for his shift, which I thought would calm me down. In fact, when he showed up, he was quick to ask, “Are you still here?” The owner of the clinic had prevented me from leaving (a long story about recovery clinics, I’ll tell you another day). Paulo fought for my case. He prescribed anti-ethanol and allowed me to leave.
I started to get into gear, went into recovery and long after that first hospitalization I met him by chance, on the street. We lived in the same neighborhood. And, as there was no longer a patient/doctor link, we became friends. We schedule coffee, lunch, that sort of thing.
Like I said, I was getting back on track. He, always very kind, very human, on the contrary, was going through very critical moments and started drinking too much. In addition to drinking, he started taking excessive pills. I have audios of him with a soft voice, saying nonsense. We grew apart, and I never went on Facebook again for fear of the photographs and things I wrote on that social network.
On his birthday, I went in happy to send a message, I left sad with the news that he was gone. It seems like it was from the heart. A very sensitive man who perhaps couldn’t handle the hardships of life. It’s not even me who says this, he told me that life was too heavy for him.
And it is, but I am increasingly convinced that those who feel too much cannot numb themselves, quite the opposite. You need to seek lucidity. Mood alterers harm the emotional state and mix up the ability to discern. Today was a sad day, I lost a companion who helped me fight and who, I’m sure, helped many other people too.
LINK PRESENT: Did you like this text? Subscribers can access five free accesses from any link per day. Just click the blue F below.