You never really know when the slide begins. That specific point when you need the chemical support to keep you going. What triggers the impulse? It could be a B+ grade when you were expecting at least an A. You are affected by peer pressure, Everybody in and around you telling you “However smart you are you cannot get into Medical School”. The camp between the expectation and the reality sinks your boat. Doubts filter in like shards of ice and you begin to ask yourself if you can hack it. The college workload stares at you like an impassive mountain, impenetrable, looming and evidence of your pending failure. Panic licks at you as you wrestle with that twist in the pit of your stomach. You will have to give up half way, the dream will crash and you will have the dangling albatross over failure around your neck. The pressure is intolerable and waves of claustrophobia close in on you. Nobody can understand what is going on inside me-not even I myself. I have no control over why I am feeling that no matter how smart I am, or good on paper, it is simply not enough. I tell mom when she asks me “Mohit why are you quiet and not responding” ”Mom everyone here says ,you cannot get into med school however smart you are “to which she responds in that case “Do not do Med School “she also tells me “Mohit you are so smart so don’t get into that pressure of what people say and she tells me if you being so smart are facing this hurdle, what about others who might be not that smart “and I reply to her “Mom the entire class is with the Therapist all Asians “so she doesn’t understand the gravity of the situation being miles away when I tell her the entire class is with the Therapist. Therapist means only counselling no Medication.
Now, you are hurting. Here is where a counsellor comes into the picture You need somebody to talk to. The counsellor seems to be nodding and listening to you and drinking in what you say. At some point you do feel you are understood and someone else in this crazy world can understand a little bit of what I am going through. Taking advantage of your toxic med environment she tells me “You know you feel sad because you have a chemical imbalance in your brain. Just take a pill and it will even you out. I bought into her philosophy thinking she meant well and good for me and no way she can harm me since she is my doctor and better educated and equipped to understand me than Me myself or my family. Take one of these, opening a tin that once housed mints but is now a repository for little blue and cream pills designed to give you that moral support.
No way, you resist because these are narcotics, not your scene, way to help, a one-way ticket.
But your eyes are glued by a lack of sleep, your head fuzzy with the funk of losing out and the long haul of the week ahead is intimidating at best and corrosively frightening at worst, so you know what, one dam tablet tonight won’t matter, it’s not as wit will mess me up or form a habit, just for now, till that midterm menace of an exam is over. And you can hear the devil cackling evilly because he knows he’s captured you in his net and is rubbing his hands with glee.
What sadness can do to yourself, and self-esteem. You are no more smart, just frail like everyone else. Now you are hurting and no way you can resist because these are narcotics, not your scene. These medications are not like your regular ibuprofen tablet. These are high grade-high risk medication which are supposed to be given only under surveillance and guidance.
So you take the little blue one and offer thanks because you wouldn’t have been so happy doing this if you knew what you had so easily done. You sold your soul but you don’t know that. Why should you. The surge of plastic energy, that engineered clarity, the rush of adrenalin gives you a new confidence. This stuff works. You have the capability to tackle the studies, be up all night get that elusive grade.
Bring it on. I am invincible. One little blue circle full of magic, it cannot be that bad, I have made a new friend, my little bridge over troubled waters.
You do that and convince yourself that this is okay, everyone is on something so what the hell and you have taken your first step towards hell. There is no coming back.
The whole felony committed upon yourself is so beguiling like the sirens song luring you towards the rocks but you are helpless. The music is so sweet.
– MOHIT MULANI