I had now revised my views of psychiatry, the unit’s patients, my marriage and me. We had been on collision course from day one, and it was probably pointless to attach blame, theorise causes or crave reforms. The collision was driven by unfathomable chaos, massive seamless shifts in personal, political and organisational affairs, and the rolling storm of existence which ultimately buried the individual alive. For those reasons, I could no longer blame society for being puerile and materialistic, managers for being bureaucratic, patients for being over-dependent, and colleagues for being irresponsible. They in turn could easily blame the conditions and constraints which surrounded them.
It had been a painful process, but my unconscious mind had finally stripped away the layers of repression that had numbed and diverted the pain of earlier years. One by one, the feints and parries of materialism, knowledge, and relationships had fallen away to expose the simple truths of an angry, isolated, struggling life. A life which I could now rebuild on stronger foundations.
So I boiled our eggs, toasted our bread, and gave thanks that the recycling thoughts were now less frequent, and less vivid. I had learned the hard way that life could only be enjoyed by swimming with the tide, and that my foolish attempts to grasp parts of life to myself were always destined to fail; each experience slipping through my fingers like water. Life was naturally dynamic, and at times I had resisted the changes, inviting pressure to grow around me. In a ship riding broadside against the rising swell, I had seen the anchor chain snap, and I’d plunged into the depths.
But helpful hands had pulled me out, and I’d moved away from competition, acquisition, exploitation and anger, towards a safer harbour of community, sharing, equality and acceptance. My new family had supported me, I had listened to my own heart and left my vanities behind. I had regained the human spirit, and become well again.


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