It was around this time last year, that I found myself in the darkest of moments I’d ever been in — for some reason ending my life in the month that I was born in, seemed like poetic justice.
It seemed as though I’d reached the end of what seemed to be nothing but misery, a deeper sadness that I would never be able to connect with the outside world.
I’d become reclusive, and a shadow of the happy young child I once used to be.
I could not remember that last time I’d been truly happy, and it seemed as though I was all out of options.
I’d been writing at the time and working on my company, it was also around this time that I was seeking treatment — giving my psychologist every intricate detail of why I was unhappy.
I’d grown fatigued and my body felt heavy, as the days went by. With every next session feeling like, maybe this might be the day I’ll finally have what they call a “breakthrough”.
Arguments about my self-worth had started to crush me beyond the relief that the medication provided, and time had taken its toll.
I’d lost complete faith in the hope that I would ever get better.
My psychologist had requested a meeting with my father, to discuss my progress and how we were to proceed with my therapy.
Shortly thereafter, I was scheduled for my appointment.
Hoping for a sign of relief, I walked in nervously.
Looking around the room as my therapist finally snapped her fingers to get me to pay attention.
I was wondering what she’d talked about with my father, or of what my father had said about my progress.
The conversation proceeded and I started to feel better about myself, when I informed my therapist of how I think I may finally get better.
“…And how’s that? What do you plan to do?”
“I think I’ll talk to my dad directly, let him know what I want to pursue. I think he’d like that.”
“That won’t be a great idea. You should think about doing something else.”
“I don’t understand…I think my dad is quite happy with my progress?”
“He’s not. He’s your father. He’s just afraid you’ll attempt suicide again. He won’t tell you what he feels.”
“But doc, my father and me have always had an honest relationship. I think he’d let me know by now if he wasn’t happy with me?”
“Look…don’t take this the wrong way. But you father and me, when we spoke, he didn’t seem too content with your lifestyle.”
“But my father is the one who constantly motivates me to do what I love…?”
“I told you, he can’t tell you it’s not going to work. Which is why I am, we need to work this out and you need to understand this.”
“I told my dad that I made good progress here, that I may no longer need treatment. I was finally starting to feel like I’d resolved my issues?”
“Far from it. We need more time to figure out your issues. You’re paranoid, and I feel you’re heading towards schizophrenia.”
“Umm..what? I come here because I get panic attacks.”
“That’s what YOU think. It’s not how I see it.”
“I need to go. Alright? I’ll come back tomorrow.”
There wasn’t going to be a tomorrow, my soul had been crushed and I felt I’d been lied to.
I drove home, with a feeling of emptiness — hardly paying any attention to the road.
Hoping my recklessness would finally end this misery.
I reached home, my dad with his humbling voice called out to me — but I didn’t respond, I proceeded towards the bathroom.
“I’m going to take a shower”, I said.
With a razor blade in my hand and weeping as I felt I’d been crushed completely, lying hopelessly on the floor with the shower still on.
My dad knocked on the bathroom door, “Are you alright?”
I closed the tap, and looked around for a towel to wipe my face with; and spoke “Yeah..fine”.
Parental instinct must’ve kicked in, because I do not still understand how he knew; “Come outside…”, he said.
I hid the blade away, thinking if this was to be my last moment — I might as well get it off my chest.
“If you didn’t want me to succeed, you shouldn’t have motivated me to pursue it. Why couldn’t you just tell ME I wasn’t doing well, why’d you have to assume so much about me and throw me under in front of the doctor?”
My dad asked me to sit down with him for a minute, he asked if I could just listen — stay silent he said, as he picked up his mobile phone.
“He’s calling my therapist…?”, I thought to myself — she answered and he turned the phone onto speaker so I could listen in.
“Hi, how are you? I was pleased with the conversation we had the other day. Nabeel just came home and he just locked himself in his room. Is everything okay, he won’t talk to me. I’m worried.”, he said calmly, but his body indicated otherwise.
He held my hand firmly, pulling me closer as I couldn’t stop crying.
“Ahan..? He needs to understand he has to take responsibility. He’ll be okay.”, she answered defensively.
“What exactly happened today? I’m trying to understand”, he inquired.
“Well…look I think your son has an inflated sense of self-worth, he’s convinced he’s getting better. I don’t think he is. He needs more therapy and really at this point motivating him to pursue such an outlandish goal is too much. He seems paranoid, he doesn’t seem to listen. I explained to him, we’ll work on his goals.”
“But I told you I’m happy with him? I love what he’s doing.”
“No, that’s what we want him to think. It’s not good for him.”
“You told him he’s not good at what he’s doing?”
“No but I indicated that he should focus on therapy right now. Which is more important.”
“Okay…so but you told him he’s not doing a good job. I told you I’m happy with his progress. This doesn’t make sense.”
“Sir, I’m a professional. I think he needs a different approach.”
“You’re on speaker, he’s next to me…and I’m pretty sure you pushed him towards suicide. So let’s talk about what we discussed the other day.”
“…you shouldn’t be doing that to him. That’s not great parenting.”
“Lying to my son of about what I think of him is? You pushed him towards suicide, I told you SPECIFICALLY I was happy with his work and his progress. You twisted my words and made him feel more insecure. How is that not a breach of your practice as a psychologist?”
“…you sound like your son. You too may need help.”
“I’ll send a lawyer to your office tomorrow and we’ll see who needs help.”
He hung up.
Not a word was shared at this moment between me and my father, he seemed more devastated than I was.
As I sat next to him riddled with confusion, he spoke — “I’m proud of you, and if anything the last thing I’d want is to put your health at risk. You’re doing what you love, and look…if you still doubt me. I email your writing to all my friends, because I’m proud of what you’re doing.”
Shortly thereafter my dad’s phone start ringing, it’s the therapist calling.
My dad asks if we should answer, I nod.
“Sir, I think there might have been some miscommunication. It was not my intention to drive Nabeel to suicide. I was trying a new form of therapy to break through to him.”, She explained.
“Okay. Thank you for trying, you failed. I’ll get my son the right help. You don’t need to worry about him, I’ll take care of him. You worry about the lawyer I’m sending to your clinic tomorrow.”
It was in this moment I saw true love in my father’s eyes, and how my therapist had deceived me.
We would later learn the therapist had a pattern of abusive behaviour and had a failed record with her patients.
To find out that two of her past patients had ended up in psychiatric facilities.
We’d go on to file the lawsuit, decided to let it go — I never wanted to think of my therapist again and my father was happy to oblige.
My father and me would be inseparable afterwords, sharing every second of our life with one another; with me sharing my writing with him every day.
With him sharing his work life with mine.
As he would proudly proclaim and introduce me, “My Son, The great writer!”.
In some demented way, I guess my therapist did save me — though had it not been for my father, it could have all ended in catastrophe.
My love for my family grew immensely, and a year later — here I am.
Fully recovered, and now on my way to helping others.
Thank you for reading. :)