by Anura Guruge
I was ‘gone’, a prisoner in a living hell, for 34 days. Yes, I was in the midst of an acute personal crisis. Even I, for all of my swagger and mental discipline, can only take so much sustained and systematic abuse.
Yes, I, for at least the last 3.5 years, have been the victim of daily and concerted emotional and verbal abuse.
And finally on Saturday, April 9, 2016, I snapped. Does NOT matter as to how or why. The number ’10’ plays an insurmountable role. That is about all I want to disclose for now. I just could not endure it anymore.
NO I DID NOT LEAVE. Yes, I know. Very, very unlike I. Yes my reputation when younger was to cut-and-leave at the slightest provocation. But I am older and possibly a tad wiser now.
If I was willing to leave I would not, of course, have had to endure this abuse. My steadfast and proven commitment to stick it out, this time around, was a kind of invitation for a blackmail scenario. My options were gone. It was ONE or ANOTHER and I was — and still am — NOT willing to consider the ‘another’. I am well aware that this is nothing new on a global scale. Tens of millions of men before me have gone through this. It is just new to me and very strange. Of course I have the means and wherewithal to leave whenever I want and I think about it daily. But I will not leave. I will stick it out — health permitting. Yes, of course, it has taken a toll on my physical health but not my mental (as yet). Every morning I wake up and look ahead, years ahead, to when I might have my freedom again. But that is a long way away. But there is also a plan to resolve, heal and mend.
You heard of victims of secondhand smoke. I am the victim of secondhand prescription opioid use. A few months prior to my April 9th collapse there was a change in medication. A 24×7 opioid patch. Ruined my life and I am the one who famously took aspirins for 3 weeks when I had a broken rib top my heart before I was finally taken to ER.
I am also the victim of the pitiful state of healthcare providers around here. I have already reported two to the various NH licensing boards and plan to report two more. Total irresponsibility when it comes to prescribing horrible drugs. They don’t care. All they want is to be PAID to write the damn prescriptions. They do not have to endure the abuse. One obese, nurse, in Wolfeboro, who AMAZINGLY is allowed to write opioid prescriptions (at will, albeit for a price), once told me flat out: “I don’t have to live with it. YOU DO!” That is the problem. No, I am not in need of mental care — at least not as yet. My mind is clear and strong. And I yearn for the future. I live for the future. There is so much I still want to achieve.
The irony of ironies. I was 90% done on a book on THE BRAIN when the fateful April 9th came along. This is a book that will help people to come to terms with their brain. It built upon my befriending the brain ideas.
I gave away my two cameras, the Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 and the Panasonic Lumix LX100, on April 9th. The beneficiary was local 17-year old boy who I only knew from his performances on the High School Stage. He lucked out. A totally impulsive (but not uncharacteristic) gesture by I. I gave him my packed camera back along with the monopod. I am sure he has no idea how much all of it was worth. That is OK. I asked him if he had a camera. He didn’t. I asked him whether he would like one. When he said yes I gave him two. No regrets. Giving is healing to me. Yes, in the last 34 days I gave a LOT of things away. Probably in excess of $10,000. I did NOT care. It was cathartic. I have always liked to give. Over the years I have acquired ‘special’ things because of my contacts. Genuine Catholic relics. Special coins. I gave them all away. I gave away money that was owed to me. Money does NOT make you happy — though it does help ease the pain of abuse. Today I bought a new camera. That made me happy. The cost did NOT matter. I have the money. Wall Street is very good to me. SMILE. Nobody can take that away from me.
I also stopped writing. That killed me. Not having a camera and not writing was torture. It was agony. I felt as if both my arms had been cut off. So impotent and not surprisingly for I was sexually impotent for a week! That is about the longest time I have gone without sex in the last 20 years! It was not a good 34 days.
But we have a kind of truce. A kind of lull. The 24×7 patch has been discarded. It is back to pills again. I am hopeful. I am going to start writing — and this is the first. We watched CNN’s Anderson Cooper special on “America’s Opioid Epidemic“. It is wonderful. We now have a plan to totally get away from opioids. Not sure it will work. Will not be the first time. But I hope. That is all I have.
So why am I sharing this with you. Because deep down I am a writer. That is what we do. We share our experiences in the hope that it may help others.
I am NOT ashamed to admit that I am a victim. Yes, people tell me I have BIG ego. And I accept it. But it is people who have NO ideas as to WHO I am that think I have a big ego. Ego is not important to I. Some of you may know that I go out of my way to accept blame, apologize, admit my limitations. But that is not important.
I plan, as part of my own recovery, to document MY journey.
As of today, Friday, May 13, 2016, I am GOING to try to get back to some semblance of normalcy.
I am going to start writing. I am going to get a camera (I already have).
Please wish me well.
I am back. Battered, scarred, bruised and bleeding. But I am back.
by Anura Guruge