"Just let me listen to her. " I said.
" You think what she says is going to change anything? "
" Definitely if I shut you out. "
" Well how are you going to do that?"
" Just shut up "
I am sitting in this small conference room with 24 people. Our college organized a discussion on mental health with a professional. I forgot her first name but everyone here is calling her Ms. Sheoran. She seems pretty nice. She is polite and knowledgeable.
Professor Sanghvi insisted I attend this discussion. She says it would help with my anxiety. I don't know what to expect, but I am trying to listen to Ms. Sheoran as much as I can.
" This is not going to do anything for you. How many times have you tried to shut me out but at the end you come crawling back. "
" Just let me listen "
" What are you going to do? Fight? Who has the courage for that? Not you. "
" Shut up. I am trying to concentrate here. "
" Concentrate. Sure... You can try but you know it too. It won't help. You are going to stay just the way you are. Miserable. "
I am sitting away from everyone else. There are only 25 people in the room --- 20 students, the guest and 4 professors---- so there are many empty chairs. When Professor Sanghvi saw me sitting away from everyone else, she gave me a subtle look but didn't say anything. She is the only Professor that I really talk to or rather the only one in the entire college whom I talk to. She was the one who counselled me when I passed out in class due to hyperventilation and sweating. She told me she went to therapy too and would support me if I wanted to get help.
I like what Ms. Sheoran is talking about. I might even consider going for therapy.
I have terrible anxiety. I just can not seem to work in uncomfortable situations.It's just too much to handle.
" People will always be there to help you. You just need to reach out and decide to help yourself first. ", asserted Ms.Sheoran.
" I want to reach out to someone. "
" Do you? You are weak. You can't even think for yourself how are you going to help yourself? Come on quit kidding. "
" I did reach out of Professor Sanghvi. She was so understanding about it. I can do this. "
" Really? You think you can trust her? Maybe you forgot that people don't care. Are you forgetting all of them? You think you want to make that mistake again? "
It has been a year and a half. I know I need help but I just need someone to tell me it is ok to need help. Maybe I am making an excuse but I am just tired of fighting with my own thoughts. It's ridiculous.
" Ok, so does anyone have questions? Go on and ask me whatever you wish to know. "
I like Ms. Sheoran very much. She is a professional after all. I want to reach out to her. Maybe I should ask her now.
" Are you stupid? Can you not see people around you? You'll make a joke out of yourself. They'll think you are a lunatic. "
I start to feel fatigue out of nowhere. I can feel my heartbeat through my chest. My parents do not know about my situation. For them I am a perfectly fit daughter obviously because I don't want them to get concerned. I sit there frozen for a long time unknown of what is going on around me.
" Alright, so this was great. I didn't know I was going to have a conversation with such bright heads. It was such a pleasure interacting with you all. I hope to hear from you sometime. I'd like an update. "
The professors started greeting her and the discussion was at an end. I can't make up my mind. I want to talk to her. Everything about what has been bothering me. I feel my head pounding, it is so scary here.
The professors escort Ms. Sheoran. She is gone.
" That's right she's gone. What did I tell you? You cannot speak for yourself. You can never get out of this you should know that. "
I see Professor Sanghvi walking over to me. I don't know what to say. She was probably expecting something from me. I have disappointed her.
" Are you alright Lily? "
" Yes Ma'am. " I keep staring at my fumbling fingers.
" How did you like the discussion? Was it helpful? "
I don't know what to say. She sits down in the chair right next to me.
" Lily you know that I am here to help you in anything. "
" She's lying. Everybody lies. Nobody cares about you. They are all going to leave you eventually "
" You are a brave girl to make it this far and trust me I know exactly what you are going through. "
" No she doesn't. No one does. She cannot help you. She's just acting sympathetic. "
" I… I don't know Ma'am. "
" Lily, I cannot make a decision for you. It is you who has to choose. I will never make you do something that you do not want to do. We can wait as long as you want. "
" See, she doesn't want to take the responsibility. She's making you take the decision so that you face the consequences of it later. "
" We can talk whenever you want ok? "
A nod is all I can give right now. Professor Sanghvi stands up to leave. The door closes behind her. I feel like several emotions are just rushing past through me, making me feel like a ferry in the storm.
" Such a loser you are. "
" I am not "
" You are weak, a coward and the biggest loser. "
" I. AM. NOT. "
I stand up and start running towards the door and out. I go down to the 1st floor and to the staff room. I see Professor Sanghvi sitting on the desk and run to her.
" I want to do it. I want to get therapy. I promise I won't give up. "
I break down crying and weeping. Professor Sanghvi gets up from her chair, comes to me and says, " I am proud of you. You are so strong to make this decision Lily. I'll talk to Ms. Sheoran and get you an appointment. Is that ok? "
I nod. " Thank you, Ma'am "
" You have done it. You have taken a step towards winning against anxiety. I am so proud Lily, so proud. "
I walked out into the corridor and felt a release. I had finally done it. I have fought against my thoughts and taken a first step. That for me is a big deal.
I hope I can shut the voices in my head soon.