Medicine has been my passion ever since I was a child. I worked really hard and cracked the entrance exam to get into the best medical college in Kerala. I was 18 when I joined college.
I was extremely excited about college life much like others my age.
The first year of college was going well in the company of good friends. My group had five members who stood by me through thick and thin. But soon, something within me started feeling different.
I felt depressed for no particular reason.
I’d get irritated and upset over the smallest things. I’d cry for hours under the shower. I couldn’t concentrate on my studies. Nor could I sleep at night. I couldn’t understand why this was happening to me.
It got worse with each passing day and reached an extent that I started harming myself. I'd cut myself all over and enjoy the sensation of the pain!
Sometimes I wished that I’d die. I didn’t want to live at all!
Ultimately, I went to a psychiatrist and he gave me antidepressants. However, one night I got extremely angry and overdosed on the medicines to hurt myself. Fortunately, nothing happened. I managed to get through the last few days of the first year of college.
I was in the second year and was returning after a clinical posting when I felt a tingling sensation in my lower limbs. Soon it got so painful that I couldn’t take a step forward. The pain moved upwards and reached my neck.
I spat blood and before I knew it, I fell to the floor and became unconscious.
When I opened my eyes, I was in the ICU with drips and tubes all over my body. I could see the doctors whispering. I asked one of them what was wrong with me and got the shock of my life. I learned that I had blood cancer. My whole world came crashing down.
I asked him if I would survive and his silence gave me the answer.
I knew it was my fault. I regretted all the times that I’d harmed myself. I wanted to take back all the times when I had wished to die.
There were times when I'd prayed to God to take me away and here I was, actually dying!
How I wished that I could go back in time and cherish each and every moment of my life. I just wanted to be grateful but I knew I couldn’t change anything. I lost all hope and started counting my days.
Every day, I’d wake up with the fear of death.
One day, I woke up and saw a middle-aged but good-looking guy in a black t-shirt smiling at me. I thought he was probably someone from the staff. He looked at me and said, “You will live.”
All the doctors had said that I had no chances of living but this ordinary man was confident that I would live.
I gave him a weak smile. Every morning, I’d see him and he’d smile at me repeating the same words, “You will live.”
He started giving me books about people who survived cancer. He would talk to me for hours telling me how beautiful life is and how we should cherish it even if it is short. Slowly, his words became my motivation.
I woke up every day thanking God for my life.
I found joy in every single thing I did. Soon, I heard that my treatment had a good prognosis and I was recovering. And yes, I lived. I completed my MBBS and went on to do my MD.
Today, I am a psychiatrist and I've dedicated each day to bring people back to life.
I realized that the guy who said that I’d live was not the staff member. He was my doctor and the one responsible for treating me. Now, he is also the father of my kids.
I hope that my story encourages and helps all those who are struggling with depression.
You need to cherish every moment because you have only one life and you must live it to the fullest.